Children in a caring role can get help and advice through a free app - Young Carers in Hertfordshire - which has information about caring, details about what to expect when visiting hospital and support for carers, tips from young carers and links to organisations that provide support such as us, Carers in Hertfordshire.
The app was launched on June 11th 2018, the start of Carers Week 2018 and is available on android (Google Play). There are plans to create a version for Apple devices later this year.
The idea for the app came from five young carers who attended a young carers’ residential break we organised in October 2017. At that time Jodie Deards, the Carers Lead at Lister Hospital, Stevenage - part of East and North Herts Hospitals NHS Trust – approached us about producing an information booklet for young carers. Work then started on the app.
Young carers helped develop content and IT students at North Herts College got involved to complete the technical side of the app.
Jackie Graham, our Young Carers Team Leader, said: “We understand that in this digital age some carers, particularly younger carers, don’t access information from printed leaflets but look online instead as and when they want to know something. We hope this app will bring together a range of information to help make life easier for young carers.
“We’re pleased to have been able to work with young carers, IT students from North Herts College and Jodie and East and North Herts Hospitals NHS Trust to produce the app, something young carers told us they would find useful.”
Jodie Deards, said: “The app is aimed at young carers aged 11 and above. It provides them with a wealth of information and advice, including where they can go to get extra support and pictures of our hospital wards to make them feel more comfortable if the person they are caring for is admitted. We wanted to create a resource in a format that is more suited to their needs, which is quicker and easier to access than a booklet or leaflet.”
Young Carer Tia, who helped design some of the artwork in the app and suggesting content, said: “I feel proud to have been part of developing the app and I am pleased with how it looks and the information on it. I hope the app will benefit all young carers around Hertfordshire and help them speak out if they are a young carer because they do not have to be alone!”
If you would like more information about Carers in Hertfordshire please visit www.ycih.org or call 01992 58 69 69.