This Christmas, online gifting experience provider Red Letter Days, has partnered with national children’s charity Barnardo’s, to gift young carers with a host of unforgettable experiences. In their latest festive film, football legend Patrice Evra arrives at one boy’s door with a once in a lifetime offer – the chance to buckle up in two iconic supercars on a thrilling driving experience.
During 2020 the nation has seen some incredible acts of kindness and online provider, Red Letter Days, wanted to build on that by celebrating some of the country’s unsung heroes the best way it knows how. There are currently around 800,000 secondary school young carers in the UK who look after a relative with a disability, illness or mental health condition.
Research also reveals that58%of young carers have spent more time on their caring responsibilities since the pandemic began, and with further national lockdowns in place, their reality is looking more difficult than most. This is present even more so at Christmas time, with 44% of young carers surveyed revealing they have missed out on Christmas social activities in the past due to their caring duties, and their isolation during the holidays leaves one in five young carers feeling stressed (20%) or lonely (19%).
Ian, 16, from London and full-time carer for his mum and younger brother is a huge Manchester United fan, so Red Letter Days enlisted the help of formerManchester United captain and TV pundit Patrice Evrafor a moment he will never forget. Not only was Ian surprised to see Patrice at his door, but he was truly lost for words when Evra opened the red envelope and said he was being whisked away for a super track day, football hero in tow.
Speaking on his day with Ian, Patrice Evra former Manchester United footballer said:“This year we’ve heard many inspirational stories of how people have helped others, so when I was invited by Red Letter Days to help celebrate one of the nation’s unsung heroes, I didn’t think twice.
“It was so great to be part of Ian’s memorable day and surprise him with a supercar racetrack experience. What he does for his family all year round is truly inspiring and he deserved every minute!”
The festive video also sees Ian’s mum, Drucilla, who suffered a posterior circulation stroke impacting her ability to care for Ian and his younger brother, diagnosed with ASD in 2018. Since then and at the age of just 13, with a loving caring attitude, and without hesitation, Ian has taken on the large responsibility of caring for his mum and brother. He manages the daily household chores from cooking meals, cleaning, and shopping, all alongside a busy school schedule.
Whizzing around the hair-raising twists and turns of Brands Hatch, one of the top UK racetracks, in a Ferrari was not something Ian thought would ever happen, but the surprises didn’t stop there. Red Letter Days also called on restaurant partner Searcys at the Gherkin to provide a delicious three-course meal, prepared by one of their top chefs to be delivered to the family home for Ian, his mum, and brother to enjoy.
To view the video, please see here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq_n1A3ve4g&t=1s
Dan Mountain,CEOat Red Letter Days said:“It was fantastic to be able to treat Ian and his family to a special day the best way we know how, with memorable and once in a lifetime experiences. We want to raise awareness of just how many young carers there are throughout the UK and the amazing work they do, day in day out.
“We’re delighted to partner with such an incredible charity like Barnardo’s and support their Kidsmas campaign which helps to raise funds and give support for children who need it the most, all over the UK.”
Alongside gifting a number of experience days, Red Letter Days has donated a charitable sum to Barnardo’s to support the fantastic work that the charity does, with community initiatives like those that support Ian and his family.
Speaking on the partnership Lynn Gradwell,Directorat Barnardo’s UK said:“We are so grateful to Red Letter Days for providing the most incredible half-term experience to our young carer, Ian. To spend an exciting day whizzing around a racecar track and being cheered on by a football star is something which few of us will ever experience, and I would like to thank Red Letter Days, our colleagues in fundraising and all of our staff at the Wellbeing Hub for making this happen.”
By raising money this festive season forBarnardo’s Kidsmascampaign you can make a life-changing difference to a vulnerable child – giving them the expert support, kindness and care they need to have a happier Christmas, and a brighter future.
For more details on the campaign please visit:https://www.redletterdays.co.uk/making-memories
You can donate to Barnardo’s by visiting:https://kidsmas.barnardos.org.uk.
BBC and Nottingham university joint research published in 2018
About Red Letter Days Founded in 1989, Red Letter Days pioneered the concept of giving unforgettable experiences as gifts. Making memories is at our core and we offer a vast range of over 4,500 experiences in the UK. For more information visit www.redletterdays.co.uk.
About Barnardo’s Last year around 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers were supported by Barnardo’s through more than 1,000 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes.
We work to support vulnerable children in the UK and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you.
Christmas should be a magical time for children. But while many of us can’t wait to have fun and spend time with our family and friends, thousands of children across the UK are struggling. And this Christmas, the coronavirus crisis has doubled the risk to vulnerable children. Abuse, poverty, mental health issues and loneliness are on the rise, depriving children of the chance to enjoy this very special time of year.
But there is a way you can help.
By raising money through Kidsmas for Barnardo’s, you can make a life-changing difference to a vulnerable child – giving them the expert support, kindness and care they need to have a happier Christmas, and a brighter future.