Young Carers Awareness Day raises awareness of the challenges faced by young carers and campaigns for greater support for them.
There are currently 800,000 11-18-year-olds in England who give up their time to care for someone they live with (BBC, 2018). And the average age of a young carer in the UK is 12 years.
Last year 37 per cent of the UK’s young carers reported that they felt “stressed”, because they are caring for someone and 32 per cent feel “worried” (YouGov, 2019). Sadly, for many young carers life at school can also be tough, with 68 per cent of young carers bullied at school (Princess Royal Trust for Carers, 2010a).
What schools can do to support young carers?
Schools play a fundamental role in supporting young carers wellbeing. Below are some tips and ideas schools can try.
Organisations and charities that support young carers
Spurgeons offer a wide range of services to support young carers, from mentoring and educational support to activities and trips away to give them much needed time out from their caring duties.
They work in partnership with other agencies to support young carers individually and within their families in a range of ways:
KIDS run regular clubs where young carers can safely talk about how they feel, meet other young carers, get support, advice and information as well as have some fun away from their caring responsibilities. They also provide holiday activities and occasional weekends away.
Action for Children provides regular breaks, access to fun activities and opportunities to meet other young people in the same circumstances. Most importantly, they provide relief from responsibilities for a while to allow carers to enjoy being a child.
Childline is a great service for any young carers who are finding things difficult or need some advice or information. Young carers can call Childline confidentially about anything they want, whenever they want.
Call Childline for free on 0800 1111