Do you help or look after someone in your family? Is this because they are ill, disabled, or have problems with drugs or alcohol or their mental health?
Caring can involve lots of physical care including personal care, giving medication and helping to dress or move around. It can include looking after siblings, paying bills, cooking, cleaning, shopping or translating. Some Young Carers give no physical care but provide emotional support, particularly for someone who has a mental health condition or misuses substances.
Whatever it is you do, it means that you can call yourself a “Young Carer” and it also means that we may be able to help you.
Do any of these sound like you?
“I get to spend time with my brother, to help someone I love… sometimes I get angry.”
“My Mum’s not well. I go to school and do all the normal stuff, but when I get home I have to help get tea ready for me, Mum and Dad, every night. I have to help with the housework all the time. It’s hard to fit it all in.”
“I worry about my Mum when I’m not with her. It’s hard to focus at school sometimes.”
“I don’t go out with my mates because I worry about leaving my Dad on his own.”
“I help my Mum get washed and dressed in the morning. I wouldn’t want anyone else to help her; I know how to do it properly.”
“It’s just me and my Dad. He’s disabled, so I have to do all the housework. I like to do it, but I get very tired.”
Being a Young Carer can be really tough. Research has shown that many Young Carers do not realise they are caring, and can go hidden or unrecognised at school or in their community. This means they can go through childhood without being support, and can cause problems with friendships, health or education. The range and scale of caring can vary greatly; not all children who have ill or disabled parents or siblings take on ‘Caring Roles’, or sometimes if they do, their role causes them no difficulties.
Who We Are
The Somerset Young Carers Project is the dedicated service in Somerset that supports Young Carers under the age of 18. Since 2003 our service has supported 1600 who have been working with the Project; we are regularly working with up to 250 Young Carers Across Somerset.
How We Can Help
The Somerset Young Carers Project provides support to Young Carers and aims to help them reach their full potential. We do this by;
Answering your questions and giving you advice on anything you need to know.
- Giving you useful information, which can help you and your family.
- Introducing you to other Young People who are in similar situations to you.
- Speaking out for you, making sure that your feelings and ideas are heard.
Providing regular respite groups, where you can take part in exciting new activities, have a break from home life, and have fun with friends.