The phrase every picture tells a story could not be more appropriate when we look at the smiling faces of Max Terris and Paul Mackings in these shots taken when they got together.

Many of you who have visited Sunderland Carers Centre will know Max’s mum Julie who always greets our visitors with a warm welcome providing support and often a hot drink. Since Julie joined the team in July 2017, Max has become a good friend of Sunderland Carers Centre, helping at our Summer Fete back in 2018 and supporting lots of events such as the Christmas afternoon tea and Macmillan coffee mornings.

Max a twenty-one-year-old determined young man with a real zest for life and heart of gold attends Springboard Futures, an organisation which provides further education and supported training to those in Sunderland who have a recognised autistic spectrum disorder, learning difficulties and disabilities.

Like many Springboard were required to close their service in March of this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was at this point Max’s auntie decided to sponsor Max £1 per day for every day that he completed a walk during lockdown, a challenge that Max has fulfilled each and every day no matter what the weather!

A few weeks into the walking Max selflessly decided that he would like to donate the money that he had been sponsored to Young Carers to enable them to hold some form of celebration event once they are able to physically come together again safely.

This is when things really began to snowball, we shared Max’s story on our social media accounts and very quickly people kindly sponsored Max with his walking and plight to fund a real celebration where young carers could enjoy time being together again.

Soon Paul Mackings one of our Patron’s heard about Max’s story and wanted to know what he could do to support this great cause. Paul, Chief Executive at Cameron Hall Developments became patron back in March literally days before lockdown, Paul is extremely passionate about supporting the organisation to ensure that carers are recognised and that Sunderland Carers Centre continues to provide a varied range of services throughout the city.

Max and Paul met for the first time in June when Max and his family visited Wynyard Gardens, Paul was really interested to hear about Max’s walks and his idea about a celebration event, particularly as his niece’s daughter Molly is a young carer. When hearing her story shared candidly on a radio show Paul reflected on life as a carer and this prompted him to become involved with Sunderland Carers Centre.

Shortly after their initial meeting, Paul and Max met with Julie Max’s mum, who is the main driving force behind all of the organisation’s fundraising events and Amanda our Chief Executive Officer. At that point Max had raised a staggering £1,093.75 and again shared with Paul that this will be to fund a celebration event for young carers. Recognising Max’s efforts over the last twelve weeks and understanding how difficult lockdown circumstances have been for carers Paul has very generously donated a fantastic £1000 to Max’s fund, taking the total to £2093.75.

This will certainly mean that with Max and Paul’s help and support we will be able to arrange a very special event that young carers will be able to remember for years to come, marking what will be a notable period in history.

Amanda Brown our Chief Executive Officer said “Max is a wonderful inspiration to our team, his kind nature always shines through whenever we meet, this has been such a lovely thing to do and with Paul’s very generous support we will be able to work with Max and young carers to plan a really special event we are exceptionally grateful to them both”

It isn’t too late to sponsor Max by donating via our website: Click here

Watch this space for updates on Max’s daily walks and plans for the celebrations once we are able to do so safely.