Norwich City Football Club is delighted to welcome George Smith as our Community Hero for our fixture against Sheffield United.
George, 12, is a young carer for his dad Mansel and has been nominated by the charity, Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk for his support to his family and for being a valuable member of Norfolk Young Carers Forum.
The charity supports young and adult carers in Norfolk by giving opportunities for them to take a break from their caring role. George joined the Norfolk Young Carers’ Forum when he was 10-years-old and has since shared his own experience and issues that young carers face at awareness raising sessions, including last year’s Young Carers’ Awareness Day event.
“At first I was nervous to share my experience, but it’s important to let people know young carers’ stories," said George. "Being a part of Norfolk Young Carers has helped me a lot with my confidence as I now feel confident enough to talk in front of people.”
Mansel has five herniated discs in his spine which presses down on his spinal cord, causing limited mobility and use of a wheelchair.
“George helps me at home with caring and still does well at school so I’m extremely proud of him," he said. "My wife is my main carer but when George is home she can take a break. He helps with household work and has even learnt to cook with my wife so he now knows some recipes.”
Hannah Clay, Fundraising and Engagement Manager at Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk, said: “Since George has joined the Norfolk Young Carers’ Forum, he has always enthusiastically joined in with a variety of activities and helps voice some of the other young carers’ issues when they don’t feel able to.
"He often worries about his dad when he is not at home but has demonstrated maturity beyond his years around his school work and his caring role and we think George is a hero not just for the community, but for young carers everywhere.”
George added: "It feels weird to be nominated but in a good way! I just want to say thank you for Hannah and her team for nominating me and giving me this opportunity."
Young Carers’ Awareness Day takes place on Thursday, January 31, and this year their aim is to raise awareness of the impact on a young carer’s health and wellbeing and to improve support and understanding for young carers, like George.
Please give a big Carrow Road welcome this afternoon to George as he brings out the match ball ahead of our game against Sheffield United.
At every Sky Bet Championship home match, Norwich City will invite a deserving community-minded individual(s) to be their ‘Community Hero’ and place the match ball on to a special plinth prior to kick off.
Whether the individual works in the emergency services or the armed forces, is a carer or charity champion, a super fan or a regional sporting hero, the initiative celebrates their contribution to the local community. If there is anyone you think deserves special recognition for their community efforts or personal achievements, please visit the Community Hero page HERE.