A MALTON-based charity is launching an innovative new service for young carers.

Community Counselling, which also celebrated its fifth anniversary last month, was set up to provide an accessible, professional counselling service for adults living in Ryedale and Scarborough.

Thanks to grants from Children in Need and Ryedale District Council, the charity is now launching a young carers service to provide free counselling for children and young people between the ages of eight and 18, who are caring for loved ones in the Ryedale and Scarborough areas.

Community Counselling’s chief officer Stephen Robling said: “We want to help children and young people who find themselves in the sometimes difficult position of being responsible for the practical, physical and emotional needs of their parents and, or siblings, in what can feel a complete reversal of the normal parent child relationship.

“We want to provide a safe space for these children and young people to express their worries, problems, and hopes for the future, and to provide emotional support to enable them to live happier and more fulfilling lives.”

This new Young Carers Service will receive referrals from local organisations, such as Scarborough and Ryedale Carers Resource, professionals working with children and young people, parents and carers, as a well as children themselves.

In addition to the Young Carers Service, Community Counselling continues to provide brief counselling, free of charge, to clients referred by their GP or another NHS professional who may be suffering with conditions such as anxiety, stress, bereavement, depression or relationship issues.

The charity also offers a chargeable counselling service, "Options" which offers clients greater choice, compared to the free-to-access service.

A dedicated Young Carers Service website youngcarerscounselling.uk will be launched in this month and will enable young people to refer themselves quickly and easily.

The Young Carers Service can be contacted direct at info@community-counselling.org.uk.

For more information about Community Counselling, go to community-counselling.org.uk.