Comic’s praise for young Mackie carers

Russell Howard with young carers at Mackie Academy. Picture: Mandy Shannon
Russell Howard with young carers at Mackie Academy. Picture: Mandy Shannon

Comedian Russell Howard unveiled a special fundraising wall at Mackie Academy at an event highlighting awareness of the role young carers play in the school community.

The funnyman, currently on a UK tour, signed one of the bricks in the wall and spoke to young carers at the celebration in the secondary on Saturday.

Russell said: “It has been a privilege to unveil this very special wall highlighting the role young carers play.

“They are all unsung heroes sacrificing time and effort to care for someone important to them, whilst going to school.

“It has been eye-opening meeting the group of young carers at Mackie Academy. I hope more can be done to support young carers in schools up and down this country.”

Mackie’s young carers group has been raising funds for an outward-bound activity trip to Loch Eil in the West Highlands next month to give the 10 members of the group a well-earned break.

They packed bags at a Co-op store last year to raise money for the deposit. Local people and businesses have been supportive of the fundraising effort.

Most generous donation has been from Stonehaven and District Lions Group which donated £1000 towards the trip.

The Outward-Bound Trust awarded a 50 per cent discount to the group, making the excursion more affordable.

Trip organisers Fiona Beeley, principal teacher of pupil support and attainment, and Catriona Masson, pupil support worker, are impressed with the enthusiasm displayed by the young carers and donors to the project.

They also hope that the wall will serve to raise awareness of the young carers in the local community in a positive way.

Councillor Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services committee chair, said: “I am delighted to see young carers at Mackie Academy being acknowledged in this way.

“Young carers juggle a full-time education which often involves studying for exams with caring for friends and family members undergoing difficult circumstances.

“As a council we want to encourage young carers to feel accepted and to be able to feel confident to ask for the support they are entitled to.”