SPORTY kids in York will have the chance to raise cash for young carers at the city's annual 10k race in August.
The mini and junior runs - sponsored by the Arena Group - are this year raising money for York Carers Centre's Young Carers' Service, and the events were officially launched yesterday.
The two runs are held at 11.45am on Sunday, August 3, just after the popular 10k run organised by Jane Tomlinson's Run For All. There are two distances - a 2.5km course for youngsters aged 9-14 and a 1.5km for younger children aged 3-8.
Children taking part are encouraged to raise at least £10 for charity, and this year all the money will go to the Young Carers' Service, which supports children between eight and 18 years old who care for a parent or sibling.
The service runs regular LAFFS - Laughter, Advice, Fun, Friendship and Support - groups for young people, and organises special trips and activities to give them chance to get away from home and take part in fun they often miss out on.
Young Carers worker Jess Greenwood said the chance to meet other young carers who understand their situation and the consistency they offer makes a huge difference.
She said: "Often family outings will be cancelled because something happens, or someone didn't sleep well, but with young carers they know that if we say there's a trip, it will go ahead.
"We see a big increase in confidence in the young people who come here. Often they don't get a lot of opportunities to socialise so this can be the highlight of their week."
Jess and her colleagues can also act as advocates for young carers in school, helping teachers understand the pressures their pupils face and getting them help they need, she added.
Twelve-year-olds Ellie Elliot, Luke Smith and Bethany Wallace are all regular members of the young carers groups.
Going along gives them a welcome chance to meet up with friends who understand their lives as young carers, and enjoy themselves.
But although the service receives some funding from the City of York Council many of the extra trips and vital add-ons like transport are paid for by donations, meaning the thousands of pounds the Mini and Junior run organisers hope to raise will make a huge difference to the young carers in the coming year.
To enter the run go to www.runforall.com