Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

What do young carers have to deal with ?

Oliver James Tindell from Worcester is a young carer Credit: ITV News

There are calls for more to be done to support young carers in schools across the East and West Midlands.

It's estimated 1 in 5 secondary school pupils may be caring for a loved one who's ill, disabled or living with an addiction.

In their GCSEs, young carers typically achieve one grade less than predicted, raising concerns that their caring responsibilities is impacting on their education.

Now on Young Carers Awareness Day, a charity says young carers risk falling behind at school and in their exams.

800,000
Estimated number of young carers in England, aged 11 to 16.
1 in 5
That could be as many as 1 in 5 secondary schoolchildren

Oliver James Tindell from Worcester is nine years old, and helps care for his sister Alicia who has multiple disabilities.

The Carers Trust says more needs to be done to identify young carers, to ensure they get the support they need, with their school work.

The Department for Education told ITV News "we changed the law to improve how young carers and their families are identified and supported." Adding that over the next year, they're providing local Government an additional £1 billion, on top of the £410 million social care grant.

The Carers Trust says it's only right that pupils like these - who do so much for others - are given some support themselves, to ensure they have the best possible start in life.

The YSS Worcestershire Young Carers group say today's campaign awareness "places a spot light on the significant impact that a caring role can have on a young person. It is particularly important to remind the country of the potentially negative impact caring can have on school attendance, school attainment and future aspirations and indeed how hard many of them have to work to achieve.

Here in Worcestershire this week, we have visited schools to talk to students and teachers about young carers and this has helped to put it on the agenda and remind them that there is a young carer in every classroom.

Importantly, having a date dedicated to young carers allows us to tell people about the amazing young people that we work with and share their personal journeys. The day encourages young people to be proud of the massive contribution they make to family members and to their individual household".

"We’d like people to know that young carers care because we love our parent/sibling and we also learn a lot from our caring role and responsibilities.

But life gets hard sometimes and we often need to take a break when things get difficult and to make time for stuff that other young people take for granted: time alone or with friends, watching TV or going online, talking to someone who puts you first and really listens.

It’s important for people out there to know that there are many of us with extra responsibilities at home so they can understand our situation and help us at school or college".

– YSS Worcestershire Young Carers
Penny Etherington acts as a carer for her parents Credit: ITV News

Penny Etherington from Belper in Derbyshire does what she can for her parents. The 12-year old acts as their carer as they're both registered blind.

The Derbyshire Carers Association list the following things as tasks a young carer might 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
  • Help to administer medicine
  • Helping someone communicate
  • Looking after brothers and sisters

"Young Carers Awareness Day is as an important day to raise the profile of Young Carers with schools, healthcare professionals and work to see that young people get the future and support they deserve. Caring for someone can be very isolating, worrying and stressful.

For Young Carers, this can negatively impact on their experiences and outcomes in education, having a lasting effect on their life chances.

Derbyshire Carers Association helps Young Carers have a break from their caring responsibilities and gives them a platform to share their experiences and raise awareness of the issues they face.

With awareness and continued funding, we can build on this good work and further influence professionals and key decision makers to support Young Carers and their families.”

– Derbyshire Carers Association