Myself and my team have been working with frontline service staff for many years, and over the last few years we have been working with carers. Myself and most of my team have been or are carers too, so we know a lot about the caring role.
In the last couple of years we have worked with young carers and school staff, and it is this work that we want to see move forward into the Young Carers Academy. In order to do that we need to secure funding to get this properly and sustainably off the ground, that is where you come in, that is where you can help. We see the work that young carers do as being essential to broader society, yet they often have very little choice about whether or not they take up the role of carer, and the work they do as a young carer is not formally acknowledged.
We see the potential for young carers to have their caring role recognised through more formal learning routes, so their experiences and knowledge gained is rewarded. Capturing their caring role could be used as evidence that enables them to go into further or higher education, and to gain employment.
The caring role can start very young, and we have learned that once young people become young carers, they lose a lot of their childhood, and often become isolated within the school environment, so we want to build networks of mentors and role models that young carers can look to. Young carers, know a lot, they have incredible interpersonal and coping skills, but often their wellbeing suffers because they have had to take on a caring role. We believe we should be supporting them to have wellbeing experiences and to develop knowledge and networks that will help to sustain them.
We will use the money to work with young carers who will co-design the Young Carers Academy, to launch they Young Carers Academy in 2020, to provide resources and respite care for Young Carers so they can participante and co-develop the Young Carers Academy. We will work with educational institutions and government to ensure that the role young carers perform gain some formal recognition.
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