What support is there for Young Carers in Dorset?
The theme for Carers Week today is younger carers. A young carer is someone under the age of 18 (they may be as young as five) who looks after a family member or a friend who has a physical or mental health condition or a drugs or alcohol problem. They do practical things like cooking, cleaning, shopping and going to doctors or to hospital appointments. They also give emotional support to the person they are caring for. Older young carers, aged 18-25, are also known as young adult carers who may juggle education and, or work as well as caring responsibilities.
A recent Carers Trust survey of young carers and young adult carers included these quotes from young carers: is always or usually hitting them and their family.
“I’d love to have kid problems. Instead, I’m saving up to try and pay our rent and to see if I can squeeze in some food at the end of it.”
“I wouldn’t say that my caring role impacts my life; I would say that it is my life.”
“We save the government lots of money by doing the work of caring, but we don’t get the help or support we need. I just want to enjoy my childhood as well as being a young carer.”
“Caring never stops. Especially when it’s time to sleep, your brain constantly worries about how tomorrow will be, hospital appointments, money etc. It’s in overdrive.”
“It’s hard to quantify. Caring isn’t just the time I’m physically spending with the people I care for; it’s also the free time I spend worrying.”
According to The Carers Trust, being a young adult carer can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence – over 45% reported a mental health problem. Many struggle to manage their education, working life and caring role which can cause pressure and stress. And 29% had dropped out of college/university because of their caring role. This is four times greater than the national average for degree courses.
It is clear from the information above, that being a young carer has a huge impact and can understandable, affect their concentration, performance and progression in education.
What support is available in Dorset?
Anyone who identifies as a young carer living in the Dorset Council area can register as a carer. This means they can access support from Carer Support Dorset and MYTIME. Carer Support Dorset has a team dedicated to helping young carers, you can register yourself as a young carer or make a referral here or call them on 0800 368 8349 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
MYTIME, is a Dorset based charity that supports registered and unregistered young carers, MYTIME can offer:
- opportunities to take part in positive activities and a break from caring during school holidays with other young carers
- access to weekly virtual youth groups
- Employability Programme providing support with access to further education and work
Contact Young Carers Service
What support is available in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole?
Anyone who identifies as a young carer living in the BCP Council area can receive the following support:
BCP Council works with children and young people (aged 5 to 18) who are identified as Young Carers to achieve the following outcomes:
- Young Carers are assessed to help them get the support they need when they need it
- children and young people who are young carers have support to develop their aspirations, resilience and self-esteem
- children and young people who are young carers get peer support through age-appropriate developmental opportunities
- the needs of young carers and their families are listened to and heard and families are supported to develop their family/friends/community networks to meet those needs and to access other services where required
- children and young people who are young carers reach their full potential and achieve a positive transition to adulthood regardless of family circumstances
Further information is available from the BCP Council’s website here.
Requests can be made by young people, families or professionals.
BCP Council Officer requests for Young Carer support and assessment (i.e. from Social Workers or Early Help Workers) are to be sent to the BCP Council Young Carers email email@example.com
There is also Sibs Youth Club which is open to sibling carers aged 5 and a half to 17. Children and young people need to register with Sibs before they can attend.
Below is a list of charities who support Young Carers across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole region:
MyTime Charity – support Young Carers aged 5 to 18 years including residential opportunities and workshops.
The Honeypot Children’s Charity – support Young Carers aged 5 to 12 years through respite breaks and outreach opportunities.
The Leonardo Trust – help young and adult carers. They offer counselling support to Young Carers and also provide support for Young Carer’s hobbies and interests.
SoundStorm provide support for Young Carers with an interest in music. Young Carers can hire musical instruments. Funding may also be available for musical instruments and music lessons.