The theme of this year’s Young Carers Awareness Day is ‘When I Grow Up’ looking at young carers’ career and future ambitions. Some young carers we support have told us their dream jobs and these have included: a writer, You Tube video maker, blacksmith, sports coach and scientist or something to do with nursing or medicine - as they want to help people or find a cure for an illness (normally the condition the person they are caring for has). (Below our Young Carers mascot Cleveland the Cat tries out some jobs for size).
According to research carried out by The Carers Trust, which spearheads Young Carers Awareness Day, 53% of young carers they surveyed had problems coping with school work. They also found people aged 16 to 18 in a caring role are twice as unlikely to be in education, employment or training.
To mark Young Carers Awareness Day our Young Carers Support Workers are visiting two schools – one in Letchworth and one in Welwyn Garden City – to talk to students about being a young carer and the support available from organisations including Carers in Hertfordshire.
Laura Green, our Young Carers Service Team Leader, explains the support we offer young carers and their families: “Our focus is to ensure the young carer and their family is receiving the right level of support to help them in their caring role and reduce the young person’s caring responsibilities.”
She continued: “It is important that young carers have a life outside caring and can access the same opportunities as others their age. We work closely with their families and other organisations to ensure children or young people in a caring role engage in school or education, socialise with their peers and have access to training, work or further education.”
To support young carers we:
- Organise trips and activities to give them a break from caring, have some fun or learn or develop skills. This also gives them a chance to meet up with other young carers so they do not feel isolated.
- Provide opportunities to talk about things that affect their life and share their experiences and views with people providing or commissioning services for them. One way we give young carers a voice is through our Young Carers Council.
- Carry out home visits with the young carer and their family to discuss any support they may need or provide advice and help through big changes like moving to secondary school, college or university, choosing your subject options or moving into work.
Last year, we started supporting young carers aged 16 and over into work experience placements.
If you know a young carer please pass on our details - we feel we can help. They can call 01992 58 69 69 or email or visit our sister website www.ycih.org
You can also direct them to Babble – a website where they can find support, advice and friendship https://babble.carers.org/