Young Carers Action Day 2022

Young Carers Action Day 2022

16th March is Young Carers Action Day – a day to raise awareness of the UK's young carers, including 14,000 in Surrey. This year's focus is ending isolation. Can you help?

What is Young Carers Action Day?

I love caring. It fills my heart but sometimes it’s so hard. You don’t get to have a break when you want and I think it’s unfair we don’t get paid for our hard work.  I help with everything.

Young carer, Surrey

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. A distressing new survey released by Carers Trust to mark YCAD shows just how extensive the issues are.

Young Carers Action Day (YCAD), the UK-wide day to raise awareness of young carers takes place on Wednesday 16th March. This year’s theme is taking action on isolation.

YCAD National Page

Here’s what one of our young carers reports

“At school I would often not get my homework done, or be very tired in class and struggle to pay attention. Some teachers used to “make an example” out of me in front of the class, pointing me out as a poor student because I didn’t do my work or concentrate during class. If they had talked to me about it, they would’ve known that I was tired and struggling because my brother was having seizures twice a week in the early hours of the morning, and that I struggled to find time or space to do work at home because I was helping my mother.” 

But…

“Later, during GCSE my graphics teachers asked about my situation when I started falling behind, and asked if they could help. They would stay a extra hour to allow those of us who needed it a space to work and catch up on coursework, with a teacher available to help if needed. They were always very supportive and it made a huge difference. I ended up getting A grades in the classes where I was supported and allowed this extra time.”

Taking action on isolation

rear view of children looking out of windowYoung carers were very clear on the theme – they wanted the day to be all about securing action to address the isolation they experience as young and young adult carers. They highlighted how having the right support – such as regular short breaks from caring – can be really beneficial, giving them a better chance  of succeeding in all parts of their lives.

Give us a break

A key focus this year is asking decision-makers to commit to ensuring young and young adult carers can access respite breaks. These are essential in providing much-needed freedom from responsibilities and routines, as well as reducing isolation and promoting wellbeing. But there are many barriers, especially finances.

Providing free access to leisure facilities, free bus travel and free access to youth and sports clubs are just some of the actions that could be taken to tackle young and young adult carer isolation.

The day will also celebrate all the good practice taking place to provide access to support and services that helps prevent isolation among young and young adult carers. It’s so important that young carers are able to live full and varied lives alongside their caring roles.

New animation launch

Marking Young Carers Action Day, our young carers have launched a new animation, talking about the benefits they feel from taking part in our Young Carers Forum, and how it helps bring them together.

Young Carers Animation

Support in schools

It [the club] really helps; it gives me confidence. Some of the things, I never thought I could talk about with anyone, I thought I’d keep it secret to myself, I can talk about.

Rose, young carer, Surrey

Another important way to help isolation, is by having a Young Carers club at school. It helps children to realise that there are many others in caring roles, and find out about the support available, both in school and beyond.

We help schools support young carers through our Angel Award, which has a number of best practice standards a schools should achieve, including a Young Carers Club.

I’ve actually only just started to be part of the young carers group. And that was when I found out my grandma had another stroke and she started to forget who I am. I have to take a lot of care of her and it’s a lot of hard work and it’s quite stressful. But I mean, having somewhere to go when you get down is good.

Ruby, young carer, Surrey

Find out more about our support for schools.

ACS school support

How health and social care professionals can help.

The National Voice of Young Carers has produced two new guides to help professionals better work with and support young carers. Read more here.

Tools for healthcare professionals

More about Young Carers Action Day

Young Carers Action Day is an annual event, organised each year by Carers Trust.

It’s a day for raising public awareness of young carers and young adult carers, the pressures and challenges they face, and the incredible contribution they make by caring for their family members and friends.

It is also a day to call for more action to support young and young adult carers and give them the extra bit of help they need to live full and healthy lives.

The day attracts widespread participation and public attention.

Posters to download and share

There are two posters for you to download and share if you can. Thank you!

Below left: a poster asking young carers if they are missing school: click to download

Below right:  a poster asking other pupils if their friend is missing school: Click to download

 young-carers-poster-missing-school

Our call out to YOU

Thank you!

Young Carers Action Day

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!

Two young people on stage

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.

teenager-bag-school

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...