Young Carers Awareness Day
Today is Young Carers Awareness Day, a very important day for us, as here at YMCA, we are proud to run the largest young carers festival at our Fairthorne Manor site every year – where over 1500 young carers join us for the weekend; gaining both respite from their caring responsibilities and the opportunity to just be young people.
We also run a Young Carers Project for children aged 5-18 years on the Isle of Wight. Supporting 350 young carers from across the island with anything from 1:1 support, information and guidance, events and activities, as well as organising and, with the support of volunteers, accompanying them to the respite activities.
Trudie Augustus-Harris, from YMCA Young Carers, tells us more:
“Being a carer can be a challenge. For many, it is an unpaid role where circumstance dictates that someone is often the sole support for a loved one and their family. But imagine being a young carer, where grown up responsibilities run hand in hand with important things they need, such as getting an education.
The average age of a young carer is just 12 years old – but even at this age they could find themselves looking after one, a few or even all of their family members due to physical or mental health issues. They may find themselves running the household and carrying out additional tasks such as cleaning, shopping and paying bills as well as providing childcare for their siblings”.
Trudie says “A very common issue for young carers is social isolation, so to be part of a group where you are accepted for who you are, not judged and can have fun in a safe environment is a really important part of our service.”
Young carers often put aside their own needs so they can provide support and care for someone close to them. Our Young Carers Support Service helps these incredible young people navigate their way through this important stage in their lives. We’re proud to be able to support and celebrate the work of these courageous young people.
If you would like to get involved with our Young Carers Project or help at our Young Carers Festival, then please get in touch. These sort of services and events can only work to their full potential with the generosity of people’s time and the support of donations.