Young Carers

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A Young Carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol

What might a Young Carer do?

  • Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
  • Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed.
  • Emotional support, such as talking to someone who is distressed.
  • Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
  • Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
  • Helping to give medicine.
  • Helping someone communicate.
  • Looking after brothers and sisters.

Being a Young Carer can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up.

  • It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
  • Many Young Carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
  • In a survey, 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.
  • 26% have been bullied at school because of their caring role.
  • 1 in 20 miss school because of their caring role.

But young people can learn lots of useful skills by being a young carer.

How we support Young Carers.

  • We offer Young Carers the chance to be young people free from their caring responsibilities through activities, social opportunities and clubs, day trips residential holidays and one-to-one support.
  • We have enabled Young Carers to participate in many activities and social opportunities away from their caring role including trips such as a trip at the Sandcastle Centre, Trampoline Park, Brockhole Visitors Centre, Brathay Outdoor centre and Tower Wood Outdoor Centre.

What happens when you are referred to our service?

  • We arrange an initial brief home visit, so we can introduce ourselves to you and a parent / guardian. We explain about our service and provide you with a Welcome Information Pack and information about our Policies and Procedures.
  • We then arrange to meet the Young Carers again in school or college or an alternative suitable place where we can have a chat and complete an assessment. This enables us to identify your routine and role as a Young Carer.
  • Depending on the Young Carers Assessment and identified needs, we are then able to agree a support plan with you and confirm an appropriate meeting structure and time scale to provide support. (This may fluctuate between fortnightly, to termly depending on the Young Carers present situation).

What do Young Carers’ Support Workers do?

We can provide a wide range of support to our Young Carers aged between 5 -18 years, which may include some of all of the following.

 

One to One support

We offer a friendly and confidential individual service. This may include providing support for various reasons such as:

It may be appropriate for the Support Worker to take on an Advocacy role and speak to teachers (with your permission) so they become aware of and understand the Young Carers situation at home, positive support and assistance for Young Carers in resolving any concerns about school are a vital part of a successful education for each Young Carer. School support may include identifying reasons for being late, concerns with frequent absences and how to eliminate these, Young Carers not having enough time to do their homework due to their caring role (which often includes supporting their siblings), Anti – Bullying and discrimination due to their caring role and Young Carers not being able to concentrate due to worrying about the person they care for, etc.

We are able to link up with Inspira who are a specialist service who can provide quality careers advice for our Young Carers so they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

This may include looking at communication, understanding the condition of the person you care for, organisation within the family, roles and responsibilities or looking at how you can get some help around the house, etc. We will also work with you to develop an Individual Emergency Plan.

Such as feelings of anger, sadness, stress / worry etc. We can support you to find ways of dealing with these feelings and effective coping strategies.

This may be to help you explain your caring role to your friends, how cope with a falling out or to help you find new friends etc.

If you have any concerns or problems which may include supporting you to reduce and eliminate feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety or lack of confidence. We have contacts with a range of more specialised organisations that may be able to offer you more specific help.

We can support you to seek specialist additional support such as a school counsellor, support from Barnardo’s etc. We are in the process of gaining some additional funding to enable us to prove a Young Carers Counselling service.

We can occasionally help you to access pots of money which can be used to help improve your life. This is usually to access training / extra tuition, etc. or to buy something which is greatly needed like a laptop to complete homework on etc.

Due to many of our Young Carers living in rural areas, to ensure that the activities we provide are accessible to all, we may be able to offer transport in the form of taxis. However, our taxi bill each year is very high so we do ask that you only use a taxi if you really need one. The taxi service is limited to Young Carers who live 3 or more miles from the designated meeting point.

Group Support Opportunities

We support Young Carers in various group settings such as:

We currently run our Social Group on the last Monday of the month during term time in Kendal. The group is open to all Young Carers age 8-12 years. (Up to Year 7). The idea is to create a safe and positive space where young carers can meet other young people in similar situations and have fun!

We also plan regular social events for our older Young Carers 12-18 year. (Year 7 and above)

We offer several Life Skill sessions to our Young Carers. Sessions include; Safety in the Home, including Food Hygiene and Fire Prevention, Safe Handling of Medication, Heart Start, First Aid, Budgeting, and Careers advice.

During the school holidays we organise trips and activities for our Young Carers. Past trips have included bowling, ice skating, climbing, shopping, swimming, theme parks, archery, chocolate factory, etc., which give young carers the opportunity to get away from their caring role for a while.

We have run many projects over the last few years including arts projects, training workshops, conservation projects and a dance group that performed at our Annual Gala Dinner. We are in the process of developing Young Carer Champions, i.e Young Carers who become more involved with our service

These activities are usually funded by Children in Need and by our ongoing fund raising efforts as well as other grants we are successful in obtaining. 

These opportunities & experiences aim to enable Young Carers to build confidence and new skills as well as having an enjoyable time!

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How you can get help from this service?

We accept referrals from various voluntary and professional support services, primary and secondary schools, colleges, family members and also self-referrals.

If you require any further information then please ring 01539 815970 to discuss our service further with one of the Young Carers Support Workers or email them at admin@carersupportsouthlakes.org.uk and someone will contact you.

If you live in the South Lakeland area, and think you may be or know of someone who may be a Young Carer who would like assistance from our service, then please pass on our information so they can get in touch!

You can also download the Young Carers’ Referral Form (download below). Please then complete the referral form and return it to us at:

Carer Support South Lakes
Stricklandgate House
92 Stricklandgate
Kendal, LA9 4PU

Useful Links

National Services

National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children

www.nspcc.org.uk

 

Child Line

0800 11 11
www.childline.org.uk 

 

Inspira Cumbria

(formerly connexions)
01931 711 300
www.inspira.org.uk

 

Young Minds

Mental Health and Well-being
www.youngminds.org.uk

 

Beat Bullying

Information on bullying
www.beatbullying.org

 

Shelter

Housing information
0808 800 4444
www.england.shelter.org.uk

 

Princes Trust

www.princes-trust.org.uk

 

Carers Trust

0844 800 4361
www.carers.org

Local Services

Cancer Care

Offer a variety of services for those caring for someone who has cancer.
01539 735 800
www.cancercare.org.uk


Young Cumbria

Kendal Lads & Girls Club
01539 536 032
www.youngcumbria.org.uk

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CARER SUPPORT SOUTH LAKES NETWORK PARTNERS
Cumbria County Council
Carers Support Cumbria 1
Eric Wright
Frieda Scott Charitable Trust