Young carers given special evening by East Anglia's lottery winners
PUBLISHED: 07:30 17 December 2018
Two national lottery winners are doing their part and getting hands-on for a big Christmas party for young carers in Essex.
Cathy and Richard Brown, who live near Ipswich, are among the millionaires giving up their time to make a memory for the children that have to juggle schoolwork with caring for loved ones with a variety of illnesses or disabilities.
The invited carers, supported by the Action for Family Carers charity, come from across the county and had strict instructions to take the night off and enjoy themselves.
Mrs Brown, 69, said: “It’s good to give something back.
“I think everybody that wins feels this way - this is better than just baking a cake.
“The life of a young carer can be quite lonely, they can end up feeling shut away, so to give them an evening like this and make it all about them is really important.”
The 24 lottery winners, with a combined wealth of more than £48 million, hosted around 75 carers aged between eight and 16 at the glitzy event near Chelmsford, Essex on Thursday, December 13.
Mr and Mrs Brown have enjoyed their £6.1million lottery scoop, with once-in-a-lifetime holidays to Antarctica and splashing out on a yacht, but still take the time to work with Camelot and other lottery winners to give something back to those that need it.
At The Baronial Hall in the village of Stock, the volunteers had assembled a winter wonderland party and took on all the jobs of the night.
They acted as chauffeur drivers, face painters and non-alcoholic mocktail bartenders for the night before a dinner together to celebrate a job well done.
The party had makeover sessions, a festive photobooth, reindeer rodeo and disco to give the carers a chance to just be children.
Sue Richards, who won £3 million on a national lottery scratchcard in 2016, has worked as an adult carer.
The 51-year-old, of Billericay, said she hoped the party showed the young carers “how much they are valued, what an amazing job they are doing and also gives them a chance to really have fun”.
“These young people are massively affected by caring for someone close to them who has a long-term illness, a physical or sensory impairment, learning difficulties, mental illness or is affected by alcohol or substance misuse,” she said.
“I’ve been a carer for many years, so I can appreciate what they may go through on a daily basis, but I’m an adult.
“To think these children have such a responsibility at such a young age is really very humbling.”