Young Carers are children as young as 5 who take on responsibility for helping to look after someone (usually a family member) who has a long-term illness or disability. This could include a physical disability, learning disability, mental health problem or substance misuse issue. We know that many Young Carers miss out on socialising due to their caring commitments want to provide more activities for Young Carers to give them a chance to meet other Young Carers in a similar situation to them
Young Carers are often a forgotten or unacknowledged group in society. They do so much to support the people around them and ask for so little in return. They are more likely to miss out on their own social opportunities and research tells us they are more likely to suffer because of this. Many Young Carers report feeling isolated, and low because of a lack of understanding and support. There are very few opportunities out there for Young Carers to meet and get a break.
This project will enable Young Carers to get a break, have some fun and meet others who are in similar circumstances. This will aim to reduce feelings of isolation and provide peer support ensuring Young Carers have a wider support network and people to talk to who really understand. With funding we can establish a programme of support to ensure these opportunities happen regularly for example when they are not at school during half terms when they may not see other people outside of family.
From experience we know that Young Carers who are recognised and are given these opportunities go on to thrive and tell us that without this support may have found it harder to cope at home. The long term health implications for the Young Carer could very well improve too by giving them opportunities they would otherwise miss out on and giving them a chance to explore their own hopes and aspirations aside from caring or developing on these skills. It will celebrate their role not hinder them.