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Camilla thanks young carers for doing ‘most brilliant job’

The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre in Marlborough, Wiltshire.

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The Duchess of Cornwall at the Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre near Marlborough, Wiltshire (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall at the Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre near Marlborough, Wiltshire (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall at the Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre near Marlborough, Wiltshire (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall has thanked young carers up and down the country for all the work they do looking after people.

Camilla met four teenagers who attend the Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre in Marlborough, Wiltshire.

The centre, which is run by the Community First charity, offers support to vulnerable young carers through a range of outdoor activities, helping to develop skills and build their self-esteem and confidence.

The youngsters, who were all aged 15 or 16 and from Wiltshire, help with the care of a parent or sibling.

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The Duchess of Cornwall peers out from a traditional straw hut at the centre (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall peers out from a traditional straw hut at the centre (Ben Birchall/PA)

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The Duchess of Cornwall peers out from a traditional straw hut at the centre (Ben Birchall/PA)

They each chatted to Camilla about their experiences of the coronavirus lockdown and the duchess then watched them practise archery.

Before departing, the royal cut a ribbon to mark the formal reopening of the centre, which closed because of the lockdown.

“I would just like to say a huge thank you to young carers because you all do the most brilliant job,” the duchess said.

“I am so thrilled that you are able to come here and use this centre for your activities.

“I just want to say how grateful everybody is for all you do as I know how hard it’s been, especially over lockdown.

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Camilla chats to archery instructor Emily Daubmey (Ben Birchall/PA)

Camilla chats to archery instructor Emily Daubmey (Ben Birchall/PA)

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Camilla chats to archery instructor Emily Daubmey (Ben Birchall/PA)

“To be able to come here and enjoy yourselves is so important.

“As patron of Community First, I would just like to say thank you very much for all you do, and I don’t think you ever get thanked enough.”

There are nearly 900 young carers in Wiltshire aged between five and 18, and during lockdown the charity identified the most vulnerable and continued to offer them support.

One of the young carers, Caitlyn Newble, 16, from Trowbridge, provides support to her sister and mother, and afterwards spoke of meeting the duchess.

“It was really wonderful and she’s really, really lovely,” she said.

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Young carer Allanna O’Brien meets the duchess (Ben Birchall/PA)

Young carer Allanna O’Brien meets the duchess (Ben Birchall/PA)

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Young carer Allanna O’Brien meets the duchess (Ben Birchall/PA)

“We have activities like archery, the shooting ranges.

“As a young carer, I come here for activity days to get me out from home, to have some fresh air and somewhere to learn new skills.”

The Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre was originally built in 1904 as a primary school and when the school closed in 1968, it became a field studies centre.

Last year, Community First bought the site from Wiltshire Council.

PA