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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 11:54 GMT
Online support for young carers
A text scheme which offers support to young carers has been so successful it has been extended to an online forum.

Norfolk County Council's "Text Pals" scheme provides youngsters with a mobile phone to text and call others in the same situation.

Norfolk Blurb, the council's website for young people, has now launched an online version of the service.

The site goes live on Friday and will enable users to exchange messages within a safe environment.

All messages are moderated prior to being published.

The "Text Pal" scheme began as a pilot focusing mainly on young carers helping to look after a relative at home.

Those behind the text scheme said many young people find it hard to make and maintain contact with friends, due to their caring role.

Tom Gaskin, Norfolk Blurb project coordinator, said: "The carers gained emotional support from a peer they did not have to interact with face-to-face, which is often an issue, and the volunteers developed skills in peer support and personal relationships, which they found personally fulfilling."

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