What is Young Carers Action Day?
In Surrey we have over 14,000 young carers – young people looking after a family member who needs help because of illness or disability. That’s at least two young people in every Surrey classroom.
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.
Our Surrey Young Carers service can make a huge difference, as can the appropriate support from teachers, health professionals and others.
Hear what our young carers say about our support:
Young Carers Action Day
Young Carers Action Day (YCAD), the UK-wide day to raise awareness of young carers takes place on Wednesday 15th March.
This year’s theme is all about encouraging everyone, professionals, schools, parents, friends, to ‘make time’ for young carers.
The theme was chosen because young carers kept saying how important their health and wellbeing is to them. Young carers can and do feel overwhelmed, but they say it doesn’t have to be this way.
Young and young adult carers think the things that would make them healthier and happier are:
- improved support in schools
- more access to breaks,
- better access to counselling support
- and more financial support
Young carers take action
If you’re a young carer, Carers UK have some great suggestions of things to do to help make a difference – to your life and others’.
From simple activities like chatting to a friend, or putting up a poster, to writing to your MP to request better support for young carers – there’s loads you can do.
We ALL take action – sign the pledge
Caring has a such a major impact on young people’s education, wellbeing and life opportunities.
Would you be able to sign the pledge, championing the needs of young carers and young adult carers?
What we’re doing this year
We’re running a number of events around Young Carers Action Day, for our registered young carers, including a Fun Day for juniors (11 and under) in Cobham, a ‘Crazy Comic’ animation workshop online, and Escape Room fun for secondary aged young carers.
We’re also running drop-in activities at some of the school’s we support Young Carer Groups, throughout the week, for example Beaufort Primary School in Woking.
We’re also supporting a key Eikon charity event at Farnham Maltings, where secondary school age young carers from across Surrey are attending a day of workshops, refreshments and a celebration of YCAD23.
Ashford & St Peters Hospital
We’ll be having a stand at St Peter’s on the 15th (main foyer, from 9am-12pm). Please pop by whether you are staff or visitors and find out more about our support for young people.
Surrey events for professionals
Making Time for Young Carers Seminar
On the day after YCAD, Thursday 16th, a free online seminar, aimed at all those who work with or encounter children and young people in Surrey.
Called ‘Making Time for Young Carers’, the event will share national and local perspectives of young carers’ needs, and support in schools and colleges, as well as looking at how best to improve this vulnerable group’s wellbeing and mental health.
Organised by the Surrey Carers Partnership Board, several of our team will also be presenting.
Surrey Healthy Schools
We’re also presenting at Surrey Healthy Schools PSHE Network Meeting, to help improve understanding of young carers and how best to support.
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.”
“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.”
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.