YOUNG carers in south Bucks had the support of popular writer JK Rowling last week as people came together to mark MS week.

The author of the Harry Potter books gave her support to The Princess Royal Trust for Carers during the event.

It had been organised by the MS Society, to raise awareness of the terminal illness and how it affects young carers in families. It also provided the opportunity for people affected by MS to voice their concerns.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers has recently launched a website for young carers ( which deals with concerns and issues faced by young people caring for MS sufferers.

The interactive website provides information, advice and support to young carers and it enables them to post messages to other people to discuss concerns and use a moderated chat room.

Ms Rowling, patron of the MS Society, supported the campaign.

She said: "Having seen my mother suffer with MS, and the way it affected her life, I cannot imagine what it would have been like if I had been 12, and trying to look after her and possibly my siblings too. I'm really pleased that young people who are looking after someone with MS and other illnesses can get practical advice and support."

The number of young carers is increasing rapidly. A census conducted in 2001 showed only 175,000 young carers in UK whereas a recent poll commissioned by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers showed figures were close to one million carers under 18 in the UK.

A coffee morning to raise money for the MS Society was held on Friday at Fleat Wood, Valley Road, Hughenden.

For more information, call regional co-ordinator Julian Blackhouse on 01235 559321.

Lucy Bloomfield