Did you know that many local children and young people are caring for someone at home? Young carers are just kids, yet they care for someone at home who could not do without their help. The average age of a young carer is just 13 years old, and some are as young as 8.
Local charity, Carers Support Centre, is raising awareness for Young Carers Action Day, which is on 16 March. The charity supports young carers with assessments, one-to-one and family support, groups and activities.
Young carers carry a heavy responsibility, caring for sick and disabled family members. They are often anxious, isolated and lonely; fall behind with school work and are bullied.
Local carer Tasha was supported by Carers Support Centre’s young carers service when she was a young carer. She said:
“The support and respite were incredible, and everyone was so encouraging. Without Carers Support Centre, my life would have taken a completely different path. They gave me a voice and made me feel listened to. The charity gave a lot to me and I wanted to give back, so I now volunteer for the young carers service.”
This year, young carers want the day to be about their futures. They aim to highlight the incredible skills they have developed through being a carer – like resilience, time-management, organisational skills and empathy. These are all important skills, not just for young people moving into higher education – but also for those looking to enter the workplace. What’s more, they are skills highly sought after by employers.
Carers Support Centre asked some of their young carers what they thought about the theme:
“People don’t really think there’s anything positive about being a young carer, but there is.” Alex
“You do learn a lot from caring, it’s the responsibility you get from it mainly. And you learn to do things yourself without needing another person to help you out with it.” Kaela
To mark Young Carers Action Day, Carers Support Centre has produced a short film for local schools. In the film, those who were once young carers share their experiences of caring and how they have achieved their goals. The films will highlight the skills of young carers, and inspire them to follow their aspirations.
You can watch the film here: https://www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk/young-carers-action-day-watch-our-short-film/ Please share the film with your friends, family or colleagues.