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What is a Young Carer?

Did you know there are around 195,000 young carers in the UK?

Young people under 18 who care for a family member due to illness or disability are known as young carers.

Young carers may provide a range of support for the person they care for, including housework, shopping, cooking, providing emotional support, paying bills, looking after brothers and sisters and helping with personal care, such as bathing or showering. This is really hard to deal with when you are an adult, but is especially hard when you are young. The average age of a young carer is only 12!

What impact will being a young carer have on me?

Some young carers miss lots of school or college, find it hard to concentrate and struggle to fit in homework or get course work completed. Others find friendships hard because they think other  young people won’t understand them or may even bully them if they know what their home life is like. As a result, many young carers feel excluded and isolated.

Family relationships can be tricky too. It’s hard to be expected to act like an adult all the time but then to be told to be home by 9 o’clock. It’s also tough when you are the main carer but when you ask for information about your mum or dad’s health you’re told you’re too young to know.

Want more information?

Barnado’s young carers provides online support too. Barnardo’s can also offer you support in person and can put you in touch with other young carers in your area.

Some schools have a young carers’ champion whose job it is to support young carers. Have you asked if your school has one? Does your school know you’re a young carer?

You don’t have to feel alone, ask for help.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your Public Health Nurse (School Nurse).

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

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