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.
However, 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.
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.
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.
What’s happening on Young Carers Action Day?
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 news 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.
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.
Our call out to YOU
- If you’re a young carer – take part!
- If you’re an education professional – find out more about how you can better support the young carers in your school or college here. We run learning events for schools and have one taking place (by Zoom) on 30th March. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
- If you work in health or social care – find out more about identifying young carers and the help they may need here. And sign up to one of our free training days.
- If you’re an employer, be inspired by these young people’s stories! And consider how you might set up something in your workplace to support young carers in their learning. Take a look at the YCAD Carers Trust page – and find out more about being a carer- friendly employer here.
- If you’re a member of the public – think about any young person you know who might be a carer, and encourage them to get in touch with us! Also remember the pressure they are under – and think how you could maybe give them a little more support or time.
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.”