September 14th, 2018
New research has revealed that the number of young carers in England is significantly higher than previously estimated at 800,000. Research commissioned by the BBC and carried out by Nottingham University shows that there are a staggering six young carers in every secondary school class. This means that in Surrey, we have over 13,000 secondary school age children working to support parents, siblings and other family members.
The young carers have always been there, but are often undetected, meaning children are left to manage on their own, often struggling, isolated and failing to thrive. Being a young carer can affect a child’s school attendance, educational achievement, mental and physical health, and future life chances.
We offer free, impartial information and support to young carers and their families on minimising the impact of their caring role. We also provide workshops, forums, fun activities and groups. We give young carers time out from caring and help them to achieve their full potential. We also offer training to health, social care and educational professionals. Young carers can get in touch on 01483 302748, or visit our website www.surrey-youngcarers.org.uk
“Now I’m at uni I’m heading into my third year studying costume design and making, which is very fun! And I’m really, really glad that I was a part of Surrey Young Carers because if it wasn’t for them, no way would I be at university now. More than likely I would be homeless, or would have been homeless, 100% at one point. And I would definitely be struggling a lot more with mental health and wellbeing issues." Young Carer, Surrey
“As soon as I joined Surrey Young Carers, things started to get easier. Finally I met other people in the same boat as me, who I could talk through my experiences with, and I have a better social life too. It’s made such a difference.” Young Carer, Surrey
We also have a resource for schools to help teachers and pupils identify and support the young carers in their midst. ‘People Like Us’ was launched earlier this year, and is being given free to all Surrey’s schools. Research from Carers Trust has shown 68% of young carers are bullied in school – and miss an average of 48 school days because of their caring role. Often teachers are not aware of the young carers in their class - 39% of young carers said that nobody in their school knew about their caring role.
‘People Like Us’ is a digital film resource that can be used in PSHE sessions and assemblies, along with supporting materials, enabling schools to be better able to support and identify young carers – and educate other pupils on young carers’ needs too.
“Things have improved for me lately because one of the teachers has taken an interest and asked me how things were at home. I felt better once I told him, and I know he understands and will speak up for me if I get into trouble with homework or am late.” Young Carer, Surrey