YOUNG carers helped host a conference organised by children's charity Barnardo's.

The event, in Chester-le-Street, looked at the implications of being a child carer and how looking after a sick or disabled relative affects children's lives.

Young people and adults from Barnardo's young carers' projects in Easington and Derwentside gave a presentation to other young carers and social care professionals at the event.

Guest speak was Chris Dearden, from Loughborough University's department of social services, which employs staff acknowledged as the UK experts on the issue of dealing with young carers.

Derwentside Young Carers project, based in Stanley, looks after about 27 youngsters aged mostly between 12 and 16, who are caring for people. Easington Young Carers, based in Peterlee, supports carers aged from eight to 13.

Two of the carers speaking at the conference were Billy Holmes, 12, from Horden, and Sarah Wilmot, 14, from Seaham, who both won Durham County Council's Carers Echo Awards for looking after their disabled mothers.