This year Young Carers Awareness Day (January 25th 2018) will highlight the growing number of children under eight in caring roles and the impact of caring, such as broken sleep.
According to research carried out by the Carers Trust, which spearheads Young Carers Awareness Day, there are nearly 10,000 children under eight in England and Wales in a caring role and an 83% increase of five to seven years since 2001.
Of the 1,270 young carers registered with Carers in Hertfordshire – 50 are aged 5-7 (up from just 8 that were known to the charity in January 2017).
To mark Young Carers Awareness Day our Young Carers Team are sharing 10 top tips for young carers, which have been developed with support of young people on our Young Carers Council.
- Be proud – As a young carer you’ve probably got more skills or achieved far more than other people your age.
- Spend time with your friends – it’s important so that you don’t feel lonely or isolated and they can be a great support.
- Get ear plugs if you struggle to sleep as it is too noisy.
You’ll have to follow our twitter @ycherts and Instagram accounts throughout the day to see the full list, the first one should appear at 8.30am.
We are also holding some training for healthcare professionals to help improve their understanding of identifying young carers. The training will also cover tips on how to support young carers and a look at the barriers to identifying young carers and how to overcome them.
The Young Carers Team recently ran a workshop on Identifying and Supporting Young Carers at Edwinstree School in Buntingford. As a result of the session, students have identified themselves as young carers. The Team are visiting the school next week to talk to the young carers about the activities and support which are available and also provide them with a Carers’ Passport Discount Card – which gives access to savings and offers in a range of businesses.
Jackie Graham, the Young Carers Service Team Leader, said: “We aim to ensure the young carers are able to achieve their potential and have the same opportunities as other young people.”
She continued: “Young Carers Awareness Day is a great opportunity to inform the wider public about young people with caring roles. There may well be young people who realise for the first time that they are a young carer. We would urge them to get in touch with Carers in Hertfordshire.”
To support young carers we:
- Carry out visits with the young person 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 subject options or moving into work.
- Organise 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. and
- Provide opportunities to talk about things that affect their life and share their experiences and views with people providing or funding services for them. One way we do this is through our Young Carers’ Council.
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 young carers website www.ycih.org