From Classroom to Carer: Carers as young as 5 aren't getting a break during coronavirus pandemic

It's National Carers Week and the role of the region's carers couldn't be more important.

It's estimated 4.5 million more people have become carers since the pandemic began.

Some children as young as five are having to look after relatives, and because of the pandemic, many are doing it full time in complete isolation without any support at all. Its estimated there are as many as 700 thousand young carers.

It's especially worrying at the moment when they're not even getting a break by going to school.

Credit: Who Cares Campaign

This week sees the launch of the Who Cares Campaign which is calling on the public to help raise awareness of the vital role young carers are playing in society.

“A society is judged by how it looks after its most in need, especially in difficult times. Young carers save the government £32 billion a year in the unpaid caring they do. We hope raising awareness now can help raise awareness to ensure young carers receive the support they need and deserve.”

Matt Woodhead, Who Cares Campaign manager

It's being backed by the charity Gaddum. Based in Greater Manchester, it provides support for those caring for friends or relatives. One of the services in Salford says two thirds of carers there have been caring for more than five years, some are as young as 5. Salford Carers service and the 'Who cares' campaign is also being supported by the Lowry Theatre, following a play of the same name which toured the country.

The aim of the Campaign is to make carers more visible and highlight the work they do.Our correspondent Mel Barham's been speaking to one young carer who looks after her mum and her little sister.