Young Carers Awareness Day 2018 with young people and parents at Spurgeons

Today, 25th January, is Young Carers Awareness Day.

There are an estimated 700,000 children and young people across the UK who are caring for family members, some as young as five-years-old. According to a recent survey from The Carers Trust, 39% of young carers say that nobody in their school is aware of their caring role.

On Monday, we spoke to a group of young carers who attend a support group for 13-14 year olds with Spurgeons at their base at The WorkSpace.

They spoke about their experiences of being a young carer: how it makes them feel, how it affects them at school, and how Spurgeons support them. Their resilience and thoughtfulness are truly inspiring:

Helpful resources

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We've collated information on resources and organisations to support young carers on the new HeadStart Support and Guidance site:

Video: 'Young Carers: in their own words'

Parent support and consultation coffee morning

Today, we spent the morning at a support group and coffee morning for the parents of young carers.

Spurgeons are supporting HeadStart in consulting young people and parents on the needs of young carers. The amazing team at Spurgeons, led by Angie Jones, used the event this morning to seek the views of parents on a wide range of issues, including experiences of working with schools and health services - both positive and negative - and on how support services such as Spurgeons can help.

Here are some thoughts shared by parents who attended:

Talking is the key. If a young person has someone they are happy to talk to, it really does help.
School should be a positive, protective factor, not a place that adds to the issues
Our children shoulder huge worries … you feel inadequate as a parent … They need somewhere to share what they are feeling. The support group at Spurgeons provides that.
Young carers hide how they feel to protect the feelings of their parents.

Young carers: the parents

During the coffee morning, Dana and Melanie, two of the parents of young carers who work with Spurgeons, kindly spoke to us about the impact of illness and disability upon their children and themselves:

Huge thanks to Spurgeons for allowing us to share in their wonderful work with young carers and their parents. We'll be sharing more from our sessions with them soon, including video interviews with two of the parents who attended this morning.


Spurgeons Parent Support Group: A Gallery