Sharon Hodgson MP has welcomed the launch of a new carers campaign.
The MP for Washington and Sunderland West welcomed the launch of the Honeypot Campaign – For Children Who Care.
Honeypot, a children’s charity, is leading a campaign to recognise the specific needs of children aged between 5 and 12 who care for a family member.
At the campaign launch, which was hosted by Dr Daniel Poulter MP, MPs were encouraged to sign a pledge to recognise the challenges faced by young carers and to support organisations, such as Honeypot, which support them.
MPs heard from Sharon Hodgson, in her role as Shadow Minister for Children, and Robin Walker MP, the parliamentary private secretary to the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.
Sharon Hodgson said: “We all know that it can be tough to look after a loved one at any stage of our lives, but this is even more so for children who through no fault of their own become the primary care giver to a family member.
“That is why it was wonderful to be invited along to speak at the Honeypot Campaign event in Parliament and show my support for the incredible work done by Simmi Woodwal and her team in providing respite to young carers so they can have the childhood that all children deserve.
“This campaign is helping to shine a light on the problems young carers face when it comes to respite care, and I hope that more people will be able to get involved and help support this campaign and move that one step closer to giving these vulnerable children the life chances they deserve.”
Simi Woodwal, Chief Executive of Honeypot, added: “I am delighted that so many MPs and Peers have made time in their busy schedules to support our launch event.
“Young carers [are] a hidden problem in many communities and there are children as young as five who are spending more of their time caring for a parent or a sibling than playing or learning.
“At Honeypot we do what we can to give these kids a break and to offer them happy childhood experiences.
“But we can only do so much. I am really excited that MPs are now engaging on this issue and look forward to working with MPs from all parties to ensure that the government recognises the needs of child carers.”
Honeypot provides consistent and regular support to young carers between the ages of 5 and 12, by providing respite breaks at Honeypot House, outreach support through the Honeypot Playbus and ongoing support including birthday cards and Christmas presents.