On Wednesday, 6 September, BaseballSoftballUK hosted the Slough Young Carers at the National Baseball & Softball Complex at Farnham Park for an away day; an opportunity for the carers to try softball, play on the fields, and relax without their day-to-day responsibilities. It was the second time the Slough Young Carers had visited Farnham Park and their first visit with sunshine!

Slough Young Carers was established in 2014 as a way for young carers to connect and support each other. The programme is funded by Slough Borough Council, Berkshire Community Foundation (SEGRO fund), and the American Women of Berkshire and Surrey. Slough Young Carers is a co-produced service, led by young carers for young carers, along with the Together as One programme.

Over the summer period, the Carers participated in activities across the local area, with each day themed for a different country. While they picked softball as their “USA” day, they quickly learned that softball is played across Britain!

The group spent a couple of hours on the diamond, with everyone hitting, throwing and fielding in the glorious end-of-summer sun. 

Slough Young Carers Lead Aliya Chaudhri shared the following about the summer’s activities, and what the Carers thought of Farnham Park:

“For our summer programme we “travelled” around the world, we planned hotdogs and baseball for our “America Day” and were surprised that there were baseball and softball fields 20 minutes down the road from our office! When we got to Farnham Park Playing Fields we were greeted with American flags and really felt like we were abroad! We started the session learning about baseball and softball and practised pitching and batting however the weather reminded us that we were in fact in England and it rained and poured! However, the team at BaseballSoftballUK had planned backup activities which included watching a baseball game and eating hotdogs!

“We were thrilled to be invited once again on one of the hottest days of the year so far to come and finish our baseball game; Of course we jumped at the chance!

“Two staff members and 12 Young Carers arrived at the venue for a game; we practised throwing and catching, were able to familiarise ourselves with the playing field and played a full game. It was hard at first, but by the end of the session we didn’t want to leave and were having a great time playing a game we had never played before.

“We asked our Young Carers for feedback and this is what they said:

“I didn’t even know there was a place to play baseball in the UK! It is so close to my house too!”

“I think I did really well considering I don’t really like anything but netball! I did get scared when the ball was coming towards me but luckily the glove protected my hand”

“I’m so glad I came because last time I really wanted to play but we couldn’t because of the rain. Today was much better, I was so surprised at how well I did, I hit the ball far and even caught someone out”

“Thank you for arranging this Aliya, we get to do so many different things with Slough Young Carers, this has been the highlight of my week! I really enjoy time with Young Carers because it’s the only time I get to socialise with others, and learning to play a new game is a bonus”

“A huge thank you from the Slough Young Carers Team to BaseballSoftballUK Farnham Park, Erica, Liz and the team for a wonderful afternoon, for arranging the food and décor and for taking the time out to teach us to play baseball. Young carers are an under-recognised and underrepresented group, who often have low self-esteem, confidence and self-worth, they also struggle with social isolation – all these issues vanished for a few hours on Wednesday 6th September and for that, we are grateful to you all!

“If you are a young person aged between 5-19 (25 SEN) who helps look after a family member who has an illness, disability, mental health condition, addiction or frailty/vulnerability, please do get in touch to see how we can support you.”

BaseballSoftballUK Head of Operations Erica Barrett commented, “The work done by these Carers is often difficult and lonely, so we wanted to support them with a unique opportunity of just being young people. We're so glad they enjoyed their time at Farnham Park and that we were able to provide them with a fun break from their day-to-day lives, and look forward to welcoming them back anytime! “

To learn more about Slough Young Carers, please visit https://sloughyoungcarers.org/

T: 07547559050

E: aliya@sloughyoungcarers.org

Instagram: @Sloughyoungcarers

Interested in bringing your community group to Farnham Park? Get in touch at info@bsuk.com