We want everyone within Warwickshire to know what it means to be a young carer and have the knowledge to understand and the skills to support them. We aim to create communities which are young carer aware enabling young carers to feel supported and understood.
The story so far ...
Warwickshire Young Carers is an independent registered charity, established in 2003, created to help identify and provide support for children and young people from 6 to 25 years old who care for a relative such as siblings, parents, or grandparents who have an illness, disability, mental health condition or substance dependence. There are currently more than 2,700 young carers from across the county registered with our organisation, while many still remain hidden.
On a daily basis, young carers are monitoring, being mindful and responding to changes in the health and wellbeing of those they are caring for. The care they provide could include:
- Providing personal care
- Administering medication
- Helping someone get up, and move around
- Providing emotional support
- Arranging and attending medical appointments
- Completing household chores
The experiences of young carers can be quite different to those of their peers, they may not be able to have a family holiday or socialise with their peers. Their educational journey is likely to be more difficult as a result of the caring role they have which in turn may impact on the opportunities available to them.
We work across Warwickshire within a variety of settings including schools, social care and youth and community centres, to support young carers, providing them with opportunities to relax, take a break, and achieve their aspirations. This is achieved through group activities, 1:1 support, provision of information, advice and guidance with the aims of reducing inappropriate caring responsibilities and promoting positive wellbeing.
We have worked with schools for 12 years to provide a high standard of support for young carers. The primary objective has been to improve the experience, attendance and attainment of young carers throughout their educational journey. We are seeking funding to expand the work we do into the wider community, providing a greater support network for young carers in their locality.
It is our ongoing ambition to:
- Reduce the stigma of being a young carer.
- Enable young carers to know they are surrounded by people who are willing, competent and have the tools to support them.
- Create communities that are ‘Young Carer Aware’, reducing social isolation and enabling young carers to feel supported and understood.
We will achieve this by:
- Providing training, development, information and guidance to create communities which are ‘Young Carer Aware’ so that anyone in contact with a young carer e.g. Social Worker, GP, Youth Worker, local businesses and Librarian is able to understand and respond to their needs and support them accordingly.
- Supporting professionals across Warwickshire so that they are aware of young carers, able to identify them and embed a system of support within their setting. This will improve the journey and outcomes for each young carer in a person-centred approach.
- Developing a suite of branded resources for local businesses, health professionals, school staff and community groups to use.
- Create a kitemark and badge of recognition for individuals, businesses and organisations to display their support for young carers.
- Effective promotion of the project to communities across Warwickshire to enable maximum engagement.
- Establish a programme for ambassadors/community champions.
The cost of providing the staff, resources and delivering this project for a year is £39,413. Our desire is to stretch beyond this and deliver the project for the foreseeable future.
To raise awareness and increase recognition of young carers, who they are, what they do and the impact this has on their lives, because without increased recognition we can never guarantee that every young carer who needs support has access to it.
"Our students at Trinity Catholic School hugely benefit from Young Carers, and the impact this service has on their lives is phenomenal. The support and opportunities provided are crucial to the mental wellbeing of our young people. "
"Compass and Young Carers have been working together for a number of months now. We have found Amy to be really receptive and open in building our referral pathways and collaboratively working together to further enhance the work and interventions we are delivering to young people across Warwickshire. Their commitment and engagement in supporting young people is inspiring and we look forward to working with young carers in the future."
"In the academic year 2017-18 we had two students that had been through an incredibly difficult time due to terminal illnesses within their immediate family. The work that Young Carers did with these young ladies was invaluable. They were given the opportunity to work with other young people that understood their predicament and could empathise with their respective situations. Young carers was a place in which they were able to open up and come to terms with the hardships that they were facing and I am convinced that their successes in their GCSEs would not have taken place without this provision."
We are always happy to hear from our supporters so please get in touch if you would like to know more about our charity.