JLS star Ortise Williams volunteers for 2 days at Carers Lewisham charity

Ortise Williams from JLS with the young carers

Ortise Williams from JLS with the young carers

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

JLS star Ortise Williams has praised Lewisham's young carers as "extraordinary heroes" after spending two days volunteering for a charity.

The popstar helped out at Carers Lewisham,  meeting young carers at the charity’s Forest Hill centre, manning the switchboard and putting together information packs.

He also visited a carer who was just six years old.

The singer said: "The way in which Carers Lewisham is able to help so many young people each coping with a very unique situation is unbelievable.

"Every young person’s case is different and this centre is able to deal with all of those individual scenarios."

Ortise was a young carer himself from the age of 12 when his mum was diagnised with multiple sclerosis.

He explained: "There was nothing like Carers Lewisham available to me. I had to form my own support network. It was a case of fight or flight and I chose to fight."

The star went on: "These young carers are coping with extreme responsibilities but these extreme circumstances will make them stronger adults.

"They are extraordinary heroes who should be recognised.  It kills me to see young carers who think that it’s impossible for them to achieve their dreams."

There are more than 500 young carers currently registered with the charity, of which around 120 will participate in young carers respite and support services each year.  

It is estimated that 10 per cent of Lewisham’s current school-age population will become young carers.

To find out more about the charity, which supports anyone in the borough who, unpaid, looks after a mentally ill, physically ill or disabled person, visit carerslewisham.org.uk

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