Puja volunteers as a befriender with the Carers Befriending Project, part of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers which was created on the back of the HRH The Princess Royal initiative in 1991.
Puja specifically deals with young carers (some as young as eight years old) who carry out significant caring tasks and assume a level of responsibility for another person which would normally be undertaken by an adult. Puja has been elected onto the Board of Committee members for the Trust in the Falkirk and Clackmannanshire region where she is specifically involved in looking at fundraising and business efficiencies to mitigate any impact on the quality of service offered to carers given funding cuts. Puja also led a fundraising group for a summer raffle, organising for the concept to be signed off by the Board, and organising the prizes and the design, printing, distribution and selling of tickets.
Puja, through the project, has 'befriended' a young 15 year old carer who has the huge responsibility of helping out with her brother who is severly autistic. Her young carer finds it difficult coping with normal teenage life on top of the caring she is doing for her brother. Puja spends time with her young carer, helping with any issues and taking the young carer out on activities.
Puja's dedication to the Carers Befriending Project demonstrates a real strength of character and compassion. Puja holds down a busy full time job and is young. Her involvement in supporting a project like Carers Befriending Project is quite a hands on role and not just simply a donation of money, and for Puja to dedicate the time she does is admirable. CR