Guide­book for young car­ers

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

A NEW book and web­site giv­ing ad­vice and hope for young car­ers will be the sub­ject of a talk tonight (Thurs­day June 29) at the North Ar­gyll Car­ers Cen­tre in Oban.

The au­thor Mike Raynor, a young carer him­self while grow­ing up near Oban, pub­lished his book Guide­book for Young Car­ers this year, and launched a web­site www.young­carer.info, to sup­port un­der-18s who pro­vide care for oth­ers.

The guide­book can be ac­cessed for free on the web­site, and Mike is also giv­ing a talk on this evening from 7- 8pm at the North Ar­gyll Car­ers Cen­tre on Al­bany Street, Oban. The book is based on Mike’s first-hand ex­pe­ri­ences as a young carer, and de­scribes the chal­lenges he faced, as well as giv­ing ad­vice and hope for present day young car­ers.

Mike, who lived in the Oban area be­tween the ages of two and 18, told The Oban Times: ‘My fa­ther was the gardener at Ach­na­cloich Gar­dens, but trag­i­cally he com­mit­ted sui­cide when I was 12 years old.

‘My mother has chronic men­tal health prob­lems and fol­low­ing Dad’s death I re­ceived no sup­port from fam­ily or med­i­cal and so­cial work pro­fes­sion­als. I had to pro­vide con­sid­er­able sup­port through­out the re­main­der of my child­hood and I had some very dif­fi­cult ex­pe­ri­ences.

‘De­spite the chal­lenges of my sit­u­a­tion, I was ap­pointed Oban High School Boys Cap­tain in 1990/91, and I played rugby for Oban High School and Oban Lorne.

‘Af­ter school I stud­ied at Dundee Univer­sity, served as an army of­fi­cer (in­clud­ing sev­eral tours in North­ern Ire­land), and then served as a For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice Cease­fire Mon­i­tor in Su­dan, Ge­or­gia and South Su­dan. I then re­turned back to the UK, worked in sev­eral roles and then started my own busi­ness five years ago. I am now mar­ried with a young daugh­ter.’

Hop­ing his story can help other young car­ers, Mike pub­lished his book and launched his web­site ear­lier this year to of­fer ad­vice to young car­ers with the chal­lenges they might face. The book has al­ready achieved sales in the UK and US.

The pre­sen­ta­tion at the North Ar­gyll Car­ers Cen­tre is open to any­one who may be in­ter­ested, and might par­tic­u­larly ap­peal to young car­ers, adults car­ers or peo­ple who sup­port car­ers.

You can find out more on Mike’s web­site, or via the North Ar­gyll Car­ers Cen­tre.

Mike Raynor, a young carer near Oban dur­ing his child­hood, in­tro­duces his new book and web­site giv­ing help and hope for chil­dren who pro­vide care in North Ar­gyll Car­ers Cen­tre in Oban at 7pm on Thurs­day June 29.

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