EAST Ayrshire Young Carers made their stage debut at St Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock.

They performed various acts including Burns recitals, musicals and pop songs to a packed audience and guests including deputy provost Claire Leitch.

The event was a culmination of activities which the newly-formed Music Therapy Group, all aged between four and 16, have taken part in.

It was set up thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund with previous performances, at Christmas and Burns Day, helping grow their confidence.

This spurred them on to organising a concert which comprised a number of solo acts and staff were proud of the successful venture after such a short time.

Councillor Leitch said: “Over the last year both in my remit as depute provost and East Ayrshire’s Children’s Champion, I have had the privilege of getting to know different aspects of the carers centres.

“In particular the amazing resilient young people who are some of the most incredible young people I have ever met, their families who have taken the time to tell me the level of care the young people provide them with, to the dedicated and passionate staff who not only look after their welfare but work tirelessly to provide a safe haven where young people can make friends with fellow carers, take part in activities and go on trips but above all that…be children!”

More accolades could be coming their way after East Ayrshire Young Carers were named finalists at The Scottish Charity Awards 2018.

They are in the running for the People’s Choice Award and are hoping people in Cumnock and Doon Valley get behind them and vote. Deadline for votes is 5pm on Friday, May 18 — visit www.scvo.org.uk for more information.