Kernow Young Carers

Bringing Hope, Giving Happiness, Creating Memories

Young Carers Awareness Day – 31st January 2019

Young carers in Cornwall are encouraging other young people in a similar position to come forward and get the support they deserve.  There are an estimated 4,000 young people aged 25 and under providing unpaid care for their families across the County, but Cornwall Council is warning that around half of those are missing out on vital support.

As part of Young Carer’s Awareness Day (31 January 2019) a film featuring young people from across Cornwall is being launched to encourage more young carers to access the support services available to them. Click here to go to the Kernow Young Carers Facebook page and view the video.

The film has been produced by Kernow Young Carers and features young people like Bethany, she said:  “I didn’t realise I was a carer when I was younger, because it was a gradual process, but it’s quite a responsibility when you are 9 or 10 years old.  When I was younger I used to look after my Nan, but when she passed away that’s when I started to look after my mum because she started to go downhill.

Over 700 young carers supported by Kernow Young Carers are referred due to their parent’s health problems, which can include disability or long term illness. Nearly 500 young people care for a sibling, and 180 care for parents with mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Other reasons for young people becoming carers include parental substance misuse, caring for a grandparent who lives in the family home, and young adult carers who care for a partner.

Kernow Young Carers regularly attend schools to give information to pupils about the support available. They help schools to identify and support young carers, and can also offer 1-1 support where the caring role is having a significant impact on their own welfare and opportunities. They run activities in the holidays to give young carers a break from their caring role and have access to funding to give young carers a trip out on their own or with the person they care for.

“I would like to say thank you to Kernow Young Carers and I would recommend them to anyone, and I would like to say if you care for anyone at any age, go speak to them, don’t hold back. It does not matter if you are five or 16, go speak to them and you will see the difference.”

If you are a young carer or know one please contact Kernow Young Carers.  Action for Children’s Kernow Young Carers can be contacted on 01872 321 486.

Referrals to Kernow Carers Service (Adults and children) can be made by calling 0800 587 8191.

The Young Carers Service is on Facebook at Kernow Young Carers.  More information is also available at https://www.supportincornwall.org.uk/kb5/cornwall/directory/carers.page

National statistics show that:

  • 14% of young people surveyed in Cornish secondary schools have self-reported as young carers
  • Of those surveyed, nearly a third self-report a range of emotional and behavioural difficulties significantly higher than average
  • 27% of young carers of secondary school age experience educational difficulties or miss school (Carers Trust, 2013)
  • 68% of young carers experience bullying at school (The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, 2010)
  • 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role (Carers Trust, 2013)
  • Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment, or training (Audit Commission, 2010)
  • Young Carers have significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level – the equivalent to nine grades lower overall than their peers (Hidden from View, 2013)
  • 43% of young carers felt their school work was ‘adversely affected’ by their caring role

National statistics quoted come from http://www.barnardos.org.uk/  hiddenlivesyoungcarersreport.pdf

Action for Children helps disadvantaged children across the UK through intervening early to stop neglect and abuse, fostering and adoption, supporting disabled children, and by campaigning tirelessly to make life better for children and families. With over 550 services the charity improves the lives of more than 300,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year. actionforchildren.org.uk