A SERVICE which supports hundreds of young carers in the Basingstoke area desperately needs local support.

Basingstoke Young Carers has, for the past three years, been funded partly through a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

It was hoped that this funding would continue, but those involved in providing the service, which is not yet a charity in its own right, have learned they will have to fill the shortfall themselves if they are to carry on all of the work they currently do.

They will need to raise around £35,000 each year, or face losing key members of staff when the funding runs out in October.

Ed Ives-Wara, who has been at the head of Basingstoke Young Carers since it began in 2009, said: “At the moment, we are able to go into schools and help so many young people we might not otherwise reach.

“Since the funding began in October 2011, we have been able to expand a great deal.

“We have been able to take young carers on some amazing trips and we are supporting more carers than ever before.

“We are able to go into schools regularly to talk to students who we might not otherwise reach. But we need money coming in to be able to do these things.

“It is going to be a big challenge to raise £35,000 a year, but we’re hoping that local people will be able to support us.

“We have already had some fantastic support from local businesses, including Sainsbury’s, Basingstoke, who made us their charity of the year, but we do need more support.”

The service, which is based in The Orchard, offers support including counselling, activities, outings, life skills, homework and after school clubs as well as signposting young carers to other support services.

Ed said: “We are applying for all sorts of grants and hope to be granted charity status, which will make the applying process easier. But we know that we also need the help of the public.”

To make a donation visit localgiving.com/ charity/basingstokeyoungcarers or to find out more about holding a fundraising event, or becoming a volunteer, call 01256 423851 or 0800 87 86 500.