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Ambassador Emberly’s Campaign to Support Other Young Carers

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Community News

At just 7 years old, Emberly Heppenstall has just been made the youngest ever ambassador for MYTIME Young Carers. A young carer herself, Emberly has been a fierce advocate for the Dorset-based charity and the work it does to support children just like her who care for a family member since she started accessing the charity’s services in 2020. Having actively promoted MYTIME’s work within her local community over the last two years through the young carers’ focus group at her school and in a TV interview, Emberly is now going one (dance) step further, taking on a four-hour dance-a-thon on 16th April to raise much needed funds for the charity.

Emberly has been a young carer since the age of 5 and cares for her mother, Jen Heppenstall, who has an acquired brain injury. Emberly describes her role as a carer very simply, explaining: ‘I tell Mummy what to do and remind her when she forgets something’. However, Jen explains that Emberly’s role is a lot bigger than this: ‘Emberly became a young carer 2 years ago when I fell ill and needed support with memory and household tasks.  Emberly helps me with my medication, cooking meals and remembering things. Because I’m partially sighted and struggle with my balance, she helps me stay safe inside and outside of the house when her daddy is at work. She has had to take on so much for someone so young but MYTIME are always there for us both.’

Although only 7, Emberly is one of MYTIME’s most outspoken advocates. After finding out that MYTIME’s work relies on donations, Emberly was inspired to start her latest campaign to raise money for the weekly MYTIME Zoom meetings and activity days she loves so much: ‘MYTIME helps me when I have struggles and worries about my mummy. The Making Memories days out and Zoom meetings make me feel happy, relaxed and calm. They help because I am always a little bit worried about Mummy. We need to fundraise, because if MYTIME run out of money, the Zoom meetings for all the young carers can’t happen anymore.

‘I am going to be doing a really cool dance-a-thon for fundraising. I thought if I ask my friends to give me some really cool dance moves, I could do it for four hours straight… sometimes stopping for snacks and drinks though, so I don’t get too sweaty!’

Director of Fundraising and Communications at MYTIME, Penelope Day, comments that: ‘Emberly is such an extraordinary character and an incredible ambassador for young carers everywhere! She’s always thinking of others, and looking for ways to make the world a better place. She’s full of ideas and ambition, and there’s no holding her back. It’s a privilege to be able to support young people like Emberly, and we’re enormously proud of her for setting herself this challenge.’

As well as fundraising for the charity, Emberly raises awareness for young carers in her community and is inspiring real-life change at school, so children in the same situation as her can access better support. Scott Tait, Headteacher at Emberly’s school, Bishop Aldhelm’s CE Primary School, commented: ‘Emberly really is a great ambassador for MYTIME. Even from such a young age, Emberly has spoken freely to both adults and children alike about the charity and everything that the charity has done for her. She is a part of our young carers’ focus group, which meets on a regular basis and while being one of our younger children, is an active voice and is not shy to speak up and bring different ideas to the table

‘The children watched her TV interview last year and this raised the profile of MYTIME in the school. Because of Emberly and her promotion of their good work, the School Council knew about the charity and have chosen it as our charity partner for the year.’

 

To donate to Emberly’s dance-a-thon on April 16th, visit her fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jen-heppenstall1