Elliott Bennett hailed a group of young carers an ‘inspiration’ after welcoming them to Rovers’ Senior Training Centre.
The Rovers midfielder hosted the ‘Question Time’ event as part of his role as Player Ambassador for Child Action Northwest – one of four chosen charities to team up with the club for the 2018-19 season.
The youngsters, who have all experienced challenging circumstances in their home life, got to quiz Elliott about his life on and off the football pitch, and even persuaded the fans favourite to perform the ‘floss’!
The 30-year-old was delighted to facilitate the meet and greet, and hopes that Rovers’ backing will help to raise awareness and valuable funds for the Blackburn-based charity, which works with around 7,000 children, families and vulnerable adults from across the region each year.
“I think it’s a fantastic charity,” said the Rovers star. “Kids as young as five, that are maybe not seen as carers to the outside world, are helping their family members or siblings get dressed in the morning, something like that, and the charity gives them some respite.
“It allows them to be around people who are in the same boat as them and they can go to events and try to have as normal a time as possible and take their mind off things.
“Some of their stories are so inspirational and blew me away to be honest. If it wasn’t for the help of the charity, some of these young people would be stuck.
“Anything to do with children is really close to my heart, having two young ones myself. They are two now and it’s amazing to think that in three years’ time there are some children their age who are looking after a sibling or their parents.
“Anything I can do to try and help, it’s an honour to be involved with them and it’s brilliant that the club is also on board. Hopefully we can really start making everyone aware of young carers and the fact that some children as young as five are actually doing these things.”
Sue Cotton, CEO of Child Action Northwest, said: “The partnership has been really positive for our young carers and other young people, giving them some great opportunities for involvement.
“It has helped Child Action Northwest promote the work we do to a much wider audience and we have benefited from support in our fundraising efforts and community engagement.”
Huma Sheikh, Young Carers Co-ordinator, added: “Our Young Carers commented on how down to earth Elliott was and they all appeared excited to show their signed photos to their friends and families when they got home.
“They got the chance to ask some very personal questions, ranging from how much Elliott earnt to querying whether he lived in an actual mansion! All in all, it was a great day out with some great memories made.”
For more information about Child Action Northwest and the fantastic work that they do, please visit http://canw.org.uk/