Until I started teaching in a secondary school I wasn’t aware at just how many young carers there are propping up the NHS and other agencies. During my time as a tutor and teacher I began to understand just a little of what some children have to go through on a daily basis. Those children need others to speak up on their behalf. Those children need support and they need to be able to put their caring responsibilities to one side and just be children sometimes. This is why young carers day matters to me – does it matter to you?
There are over 700,000 young carers in the UK. 700,000 that we know about but there is likely to be many more caring in silence, crying into their pillows, feeling isolated and feeling lost. Today is a day to help those young carers to let them know, through the media, through campaigning that they are not alone and that help is coming.
Did You know?
- 13,000 young carers care for over 50 hours a week.
- Carers Trust latest findings show 80% of young carers felt they were missing out on their childhoods because of their caring role
- Over two thirds of young carers are bullied at school
- 48% are stressed and 44% tired
- We know young carers miss on average 48 school days – that’s nearly 10 weeks of school a year – due to their caring role
- Those aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET)
As a parent foremost and as a teacher second this is not good enough, this is not ok. I will be speaking in London at ‘An Audience with Young Carers’ and we will be discussing ways in which we, as a society, can help children and young adults that are carers. Many of us see an Education as a basic human right. A good Education is giving the keys of opportunity to everyone. And yet, and yet there are children not getting those opportunities. This then will limit the opportunities and life chances of those young people. All because they propped up society by caring for the people they love. These children need to be appluaded they need to be given EXTRA resources, opportunities and chances. It is not enough to have them on some register at school as young carers and then feel that we have done our bit. Acknowledging young carers should be the start of supporting them.
I was caring for my daughter whilst she had a number of hip operations. I was an adult but I took emergency parental unpaid leave from teaching and it was a tough year. I can’t explain the emotions and feelings that carers have. I was frustrated, lonely and financially hit. It was tough, and I can’t imagine going through that as a child and having to look aftre mum or dad.
What the carers trust want to achieve
- Through its network of carers services, Carers Trust supports thousands of young and young adult carers. It also hosts two websites – Babble and Matter which provide online services for young and young adult carers.
- We do this with a UK wide network of quality assured independent partners, through our unique online services and through the provision of grants to help carers get the extra help they need to live their own lives. With locally based Network Partners we are able to support carers in their homes through the provision of replacement care, and in the community with information, advice, emotional support, hands on practical help and access to much needed breaks. We offer specialist services for carers of people of all ages and conditions and a range of individual tailored support and group activities.
Call to action
- Help Carers Trust identify and support young carers who are missing out.
- Visit carers.org/ycadfor more information or follow on twitter @carerstrust #ycad #missingout
- Join our mass Thunderclap: http://thndr.me/JDn7xL – sign up with Twitter, Facebook and/or Tumblr accounts
- You can also help give young carers a break by texting HOLL15 followed by your donation to 70070 (e.g. HOLL15£10)
- If you think you might know or be a young carer, you can find support and advice at babble.carers.org
Don’t sit in silence, think about that child in your son / daughters class. The child that research from the Carers trust new survey informs us that:
- 80% of young carers say they are missing out on what other children their age are doing because of their caring role;
- 82% said they are missing out on seeing friends – 60% said they miss attending events and other activities and 45% struggle to get their homework done on time;
- 80% are carrying out their caring role every day;
- 50% are helping to administer medicines to family members;
- Almost a quarter of those surveyed are caring for more than 20 hours a week;
- 41 % are helping with personal care, such as washing and helping the person they care for to get dressed.
- More than 60% of those surveyed are cleaning, shopping, cooking and looking after a brother or sister.
- In a separate survey by Carers Trust, new data also reveals that 30% of young carers across the UK are looking after an adult with mental health and substance misuse issues.
This is not ok. This is just not acceptable – these young people need our support and they need to know that we care about the carers.