Join in and support Young Carers Awareness Day
The council and Spurgeons Young Carers service is backing the national event to raise the profile of young carers and celebrate the important role they perform within society.
People can get involved on the council's Twitter page @OxfordshireCC and make a pledge using #youngcareraware. They can also test their knowledge about young carers by trying out an eLearning course, available here
Meanwhile schools across the county are also taking part by holding assemblies, displaying posters and planning other activities. Young carers at Didcot Girls School will be enjoying a celebration breakfast to mark the event, while Lord Williams's School in Thame has been promoting a different young carer ‘fact of the day’ throughout the week.
What does being a young carer mean?
Young Carers Awareness Day recognises the 700,000 young carers in the UK who work around the clock providing care and support to family and friends. In Oxfordshire there are an estimated 14,000 young carers.
A young carer is a child under 18 who may be physically or emotionally caring for someone in their family because of an illness or disability.
The day-to-day commitments of being a young carer can make it hard for children and young people to lead normal lives, and put pressure on schoolwork or finding time for friends and activities. It’s important that staff in schools and other services are aware of these issues so they can identify young carers and provide the right support.
A young carer may need to:
- Stay at home longer than other children to be there for the person they care for
- Help them to get up, get washed or dressed, or help with toileting
- Do most household chores like shopping, cleaning and cooking
- Look after younger brothers and sisters
- Provide emotional support or a shoulder to cry on
The council's Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “It’s really important to raise awareness of the important role young carers play in society, and for them to get the support they need.
“We don’t immediately think of children as carers, but for many young people of school age, responsibility for the care of a family member at home is a daily reality. The every-day commitments inevitably have an impact on other aspects of children’s lives - putting pressure on school work for instance, or reducing time for extra-curricular activities.”
Young Carers Service
The county council’s Young Carers Service is delivered in a partnership with Spurgeons which has been recognised nationally as among the best for developing practice.
It works with schools and other agencies to support young carers and their families across the county. In the last five years the council has been in contact with more than 2,000 young carers, and national estimates suggest there are as many as two young carers in every school class.
Many schools across the county have also taken part in the council’s Young Carers Standard scheme, which sets out ways of working to help identify and support young carers in school.
The Carers Trust website has useful information on the national campaign and posters to download. The national Twitter hashtag is #YCAD
For further information about young carers in Oxfordshire email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit the young carers website.