Our Young Carers

by Sophia

What are Young Carers?

A Young Carer is a child or teenager who regularly helps someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

What are the effects on Young Carers? 

1 in 3 Young Carers spend between 11-20 hours each week caring for family members or friends. It is estimated that there are around 700, 000 Young Carers in the UK. It is likely that Young Carers are present in every school or college.

What might a Young Carer do?

A Young Carer would maybe do the following: practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping; physical care, such as helping someone out of bed; emotional support, such as talking to someone who is distressed; personal care, such as helping someone dress; managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions; helping to give medicines; helping someone communicate; looking after other siblings. Young Carers do much more tasks than children who are not Young Carers.

Being a Young Carer can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up.

Being a Young Carer can affect a young person’s health, social life and self- confidence. In a national survey, 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role. 26% have been bullied at school because of their caring role and 1 in 20 miss school regularly, which has a damaging effect on their attendance and progress.

Hearing from a Young Carer at Penrice Academy.

Sophia: What do people need to know about Young Carers?

Garry: Being a Young Carer is hard for us and people don’t understand how much hard work we do for one of our family members

Sophia: Why is being a Young Carer important to you?

Garry: Being a Young Carer is important because you help the people close to you.

Sophia: How much has the Young Carers Support Group at Penrice helped you?

Garry: Before I discovered Young Carers, I have felt left out and that nobody understood me. It has helped me lots because it gives me opportunity to meet people who are going through the same thing and offers lots of helpful advice. It has built my confidence in school through talking to others about our shared experiences.

Sophia: What advice would you give to other young carers?

Garry: Just be yourself and keep doing what you’re doing because you are amazing!

How would I know if I was a Young Carer?

As a Young Carer you might do extra tasks for a family member who has a disability, any mental problems or help that person take medication if they need it. If this sounds like you there is extra support available from school and you should see Mrs Gouldsmith.