Who is a young carer?
Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide regular and on-going care to another person who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances.
Young adult carers are aged between 16 and 24, and can also access support from this service.
Many young people don’t see themselves as carers and may not realise there is practical and emotional support available in Essex.
Young Carers Action Day - 16th March 2021
Young carers from across the county shared with Essex Young Carers Service how they wanted to raise awareness of what it is like for them as young carers, so using their ideas this is exactly what we did! We had a social media ‘take over’ day where we posted on Essex Youth Service’s social media accounts throughout the day, with posts including a poem written by a young carer, and a song written and performed by a group of young carers. We encouraged schools across Essex to get involved and show their support by hosting a funky socks day and further raising awareness in their school assemblies and PSHE lessons that day. We also had three young carers take part in live radio interviews on BBC Essex and Gateway radio, where they shared their personal experiences of being a young carer. To top the day off we had online celebration activities for young carers to attend, these included a Young Carers Bake Off, a superhero art session and a clubbercise party! An excellent time was had by all and they all felt proud to be part of such a special day.
Y ou're never alone no matter how hard it gets
O nly children in age but huge grown up hearts
U nique and wonderful
N ever giving up on the ones they love
G uardians that also need guarding
C autious eyes for those that can't see
A lways on call 24/7
R ealising you're not the only ones who care
E xcitement of meeting kids just like us
R elaxing laughing and having fun
S uperheroes don't always wear capes
Everything’s Better When We’re Together
Young carers from across Essex came together online in February and March to collaboratively write and perform their very own song! This song is an upbeat expression of the group’s thoughts and feelings about what it is like to be a young carer and how joining together with their friends, families and other young carers to support each other offers them strength and happiness. They are all absolute stars - well done to everyone involved!
Special thanks to Essex Music Education Hub who funded and supported our weekly group and shared their skills and knowledge to help turn the young people’s ideas into reality.
You may be a young carer if you:
• care for a family member, because of illness, disability or old age
• help someone with bathing or dressing, going to the toilet or getting into/out of bed
• need to cook for your family
• look after money or organise the family budget
• help anyone to take medication regularly
• collect prescriptions or benefits on behalf of someone else or go shopping for the family
• look after brothers or sisters, by taking them to school, doing their laundry, or cooking their meals
• take care of housework, such as dusting, hoovering, washing or ironing
• speak on behalf of someone who has difficulty speaking or communicating for themselves
• translate or interpret for someone at home
The effects of being a young carer
- You have responsibilities at home that prevent you from spending time with your friends, or inviting them around your house.
- You feel sad, angry, guilty or embarrassed about the help you give to anyone at home.
- You feel upset that friends don’t have the same responsibilities.
- You avoid telling anyone outside the family about your home situation
How can the young carer key workers help?
We offer free personalised support to young carers and their families that will be developed with you around your need for help and the caring you do.
The service offers:
• Confidential one-to-one support with a dedicated key worker in the area you live, including telephone support.
• Information, advice and guidance and assisting you to access other services to support you as a young carer.
• Training opportunities e.g. moving people safely, building confidence and self-esteem, fire safety and access to counselling services if needed.
• Recreational activities to take you away from your caring role and meet other young carers and make new friends.
• Transition to adult carer services as you come up to 18.
Where can you access the Essex Young Carers Service?
Key workers are available across the whole of Essex and will be based in your local area.
They will visit you at home, school or somewhere else at an agreed time.
How can you access the service?
Families or young carers themselves can self-refer or a referral can be made by professionals including GP’s, NHS staff, Social Workers and Teachers. This can be done via our online form or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org