Caring about our Young Carers

Torbay Weekly

Young carers and their supporters across the Bay are preparing for a day of action next week (starts March 16th) to raise awareness and tackle isolation.

Young Carers Action Day takes place nationally on Wednesday, March 16th and marks the start of a week-long information roadshow planned in Torbay schools and colleges to ensure young carers' issues are understood and identified.

The Children’s Society estimates that there are around 800,000 Young Carers under 18 caring for an adult or family member in the UK, and of those aged 11-15, 27% miss or have difficulties at school due to their caring responsibilities.

These statistics mean that there will be at least 1,380 Young Carers under 18 in Torbay, and more than 500 Young Adult carers.

Torbay Youth Trust runs the Young Carers Service on behalf of Torbay Children's Services, and are responsible for assessing the potentially serious impact of a caring role on a young person's life.

Katie Chivers, a young carer, has been part of the Torbay Youth Trust Young Leaders group and was also taken on as the Trust's first Young Worker in their commitment to create employment opportunities for young people.

Katie said: "The young carers service has always been there for me on my darkest days but have also lifted me up on my happiest. They are a group of amazing people with the kindest hearts and are always there to offer a helping hand.

"The activities offer great opportunities to learn new skills and make lots of friends. I've formed friendships that will last a lifetime with people who understand what I'm going through and learned skills I wouldn't have learned. I will forever be grateful for what they have done for me and my family."

Angela Poole, Young Carers Schools Worker: "We made contact with more than 300 families within the first two months of the first lockdown. This contact was very important as quite often they had no other outside support. Our priority was to contact the young carers' families where there were known medical needs and where they had only one parent at home.”