Young Carers Action Day 2021

Young Carers Action Day 2021

16th March is Young Carers Action Day - this year focusing on the skills young people can develop through caring, how they can share these skills, and how we can ALL help them reach their full potential.

Young Carers

In Surrey we have over 14,000 young carers – young people looking after a family member who needs help because of illness or disability.

Being a young carer can be tough. You have extra chores, worries and responsibilities – and can struggle to keep up at school, often missing out on a social life, and feeling isolated and stressed.

adult-and-young-carer-laughingHowever, caring can also have a positive side, with young carers developing especially deep bonds with the person they care for, and great pride in the support they give.

The caring role can also lead to them developing new skills, and a maturity, that can help them as they move on to further education and the workplace.

On the plus side, I think caring has allowed me to be much closer to my family. And I know how to live as an adult, I can do housework and everything. I’m quite a responsible and independent person because I’ve had to be self-sufficient.

Josh, caring for his mum since the age of 13

What’s good about being a carer is I like being able to help, and sometimes if I’m having a bad day, helping makes me feel better. When you’re a carer, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Ellie, 14, cares for her brother

Young Carers Action Day: 16th March

Every year, Young Carers Action Day (YCAD) celebrates these amazing young people.

This year we are focusing on the skills learned – encouraging young people to shout about them, and highlighting what schools, employers, health and social care, and even the public can do to better support young carers.

This year’s theme – skills learned

This year’s theme is ‘Protect Young Carers’ Futures’, highlighting the skills learned through being a carer, like time-management, resilience and empathy.

These skills are important not only for young people moving into higher education, but also for entering the workplace – they are highly valued by employers.

I worked through uni and actually found that being a carer was a benefit in that respect. I have a strong work ethic and although it’s really hard to juggle everything, my manager appreciated my maturity and knew she could trust me to get stuff done. I progressed rapidly through the organisation and was promoted to Assistant Manager within a couple of years.

Rhianna, caring for her mum since the age of 6

How we help

Our specialist teams Surrey Young Carers, and Young Adult Carers have a whole host of support for young carers. We give free, impartial information and support to young people and their families on minimising the impact of their caring role. We run workshops, forums, activities and groups. And we give young carers time out from caring, and help them reach their full potential.

If you’re a young carer, or know a young carer, find out more and get in touch syc@actionforcarers.org.uk or call 01483 568269.

What’s happening on Young Carers Action Day?

Events

As well as what’s going on nationally (see below), here in Surrey we have a range of events taking place around the Day for the young carers we support – with sessions covering wellbeing, learning new skills, creativity and more. If you’re a young person looking after a family member with an illness or disability – or you know a young carer – find out more and get in touch syc@actionforcarers.org.uk or call 01483 568269.

Additionally, we have a session for Education Professionals in Surrey, taking place by Zoom on 30 March, all about how to identify and support young carers in school. Please email emma.richards@actionforcarers.org.uk to find out more.

Young carers – TAKE ACTION!

There’s lots of ways for young carers to take part in the day, including useful tools to record and share their skills.

Carers under 18 click here

And for Young Carers Action Day, for young adult carers (aged 18-24) we’ll be launching a whole new section of our website, for young adult carers, helping them protect their own futures and get the support they need to achieve their full potential.

Carers aged 18-24 click here

I was a young carer for two older brothers who are severely disabled. Life was very challenging at times and I had to always be there for my mum, who really struggled. I feel this has made me emotionally resilient and I am able to overcome challenges or hurdles successfully. This has also led me to be able work under pressure and get things done quickly! I feel like being a young carer has made me very compassionate to other people’s situations and so has led me to a career in helping others.

Naima, now working at Action for Carers Surrey

Our call out to YOU

Thank you!

National plans

Young Carers Action Day (YCAD) is an annual event, organised by Carers Trust  with other carer organisations taking part across the UK, with the theme decided by a steering group of young carers. The event, now six years old, was formerly Young Carers Awareness Day, but has shifted to become more active, and expands the age range of carers involved up to 24.

Recognising young carers’ needs and skills

Carers Trust will be working to engage with employers, encouraging them to recognise young carers’ skills and recruit them. Additionally, they will develop policy briefings, calling for Action Plans for young carers in each nation – which must address education, employability and health and wellbeing. They say: “Government needs to do more, so young carers’ skills count.”

More from Carers Trust here

Find out more

Children and teachers holding award

Angel Award Scheme

Find out about our Angel Award Scheme - a simple scheme demonstrating schools' support for young carers - and how your school can sign up!

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People Like Us

Find out about People Like Us, and the other resources we offer to improve the identification and understanding of young carers in school. Free to schools in Surrey.

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Young Adult Carers' topics

Read our new pages on useful topics for young carers in their final years at school or thinking about moving into work or further education. Practical tips, guidance and advice to help you make your right move.

Young carer stories

Hear from some of our young carers about why the support we offer is so important for them...