Many young people provide care for another person. As a young carer you may feel you are missing out on other opportunities as you have to spend so much time and energy caring for family members who are disabled or chronically ill, or for adults who are misusing alcohol or drugs. Many young carers suffer from anxiety and exhaustion because of the pressure of taking on adult responsibilities. You are not alone there are about 700,000 young carers across the country (Carer’s Trust).
As a young carer you might help with:
- Practical tasks like cooking, housework and shopping.
- Physical tasks, like getting out of bed personal care, such as helping someone get washed or dressed.
- Giving medicine.
- Looking after brothers and sisters
Sometimes young carers can face extra pressures and struggle to look after themselves, because of the responsibility of being a carer, but it is important to take the time to look after your own well-being.
Below are some tools and organisations for further information and support to help you care for yourself.
Looking after myself: Young people’s wellness plan – This booklet will help you think about and develop some useful ways of coping. It can remind you where to go when things aren’t going so well and realise it is okay to ask for help or support for yourself. It helps you to explore your caring role and what you feel is good and not so good about it.
Young and caring: Accessing support – This resource helps you make sure that you get the practical and emotional support you need. It supports you to think about who else can help you deal with the challenges you face – the answer to this will be different for everyone, so we have developed some tools you could use to work things out for you.
Young and Caring – Caring for Someone with a Mental Illness – This guide is to help make sense of caring for someone with a mental illness. Do you care for someone who has a mental illness? Is it all quite new to you? This leaflet is to help you make sense of things and to get the help you need. The Children’s Society have also asked other young carers about their own experiences, what helped them and, perhaps, you.
If you want help and advice click onto the following website from The Children’s Society. They:
• have contacts and a database of young carers projects across England
• organise training events and regional conferences
• organise the annual Young Carers Festival
• have online resources for practitioners to identify and support young carers and their families
• enable young carers to have their voices heard through es/YCIF online safe social network for young carers
• support children and young people to have their voices heard within Parliament and present to Ministers
• support over 200 young carer ‘Champions’ to communicate and share their stories and advocate for the things that matter most to them in the Young Carers in Focus.