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Girl walking with younger brother

Are you a young carer?


Who is a young carer?

Are you 19 or under and helping care for someone you live with, like a parent, brother or sister or an older relative? If so, you could be a young carer.

The person you care for may have:

  • a long-term illness like cancer or epilepsy
  • mental health issues like depression or schizophrenia
  • problems with drugs or alcohol
  • a sensory impairment like being blind or deaf
  • a learning or physical disability.

What do young carers have to do?

You might do different things to care for the person you live with, such as:

  • helping them get washed and dressed
  • lifting them in and out of bed
  • looking after younger brothers or sisters
  • shopping, cooking and cleaning
  • giving emotional support by listening when they are upset and giving advice.

Get help from Care for the Carers

If you think you might be a young carer, you can get lots of help and support from the Young Carers Service at Care for the Carers. We can help you by:

  • meeting you at school, college or somewhere else for a chat, to give you advice or simply listen
  • speaking to your school, social workers and doctors on your behalf to make sure your voice is heard and help professionals to understand your situation
  • arranging for you to have time out to do activities, meet other young carers and get involved with activities like bowling, swimming and short breaks away
  • organising a Carers Assessment with Social Services if you are 16 or over. This is where you can request help with things that will make your caring role easier for you.

Contact us

The Young Carers Service

Highlight House
8 St. Leonards Road
Eastbourne
BN21 3UH

Phone: 01323 738390, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5 pm.

Email: youngcarers@cftc.org.uk

You can always ask a parent, teacher or Connexions PA to contact us for you

Is it confidential? I don’t want people to know I’m a young carer

You might feel embarrassed about your situation and you might think it makes you different. Caring for someone can be a unique and rewarding experience and you may be afraid that if you ask for help people may interfere. We will keep what you tell us confidential, unless we are worried that you may be at risk of harm from yourself or from someone else.

How does being a young carer affect your life?

School

Perhaps you feel tired at school or unable to concentrate. You may problems getting to and staying at school or getting homework done on time because of the extra things you have to do at home.

Social life

It’s common to feel different from your friends and like no one understands what you do. You might worry about leaving the person you care for or maybe it’s hard for you to get out and about because your mum or dad is too ill to drive. You might even face bullying and teasing because of your situation.

Your career and future

Do you feel like you have less options because you are needed at home or that you need to get a job instead to support your family? Perhaps you will choose to go to a college or get a job near where you live so you can be near to the person you care for, not because it is what you really want to do.
Remember, you are not alone. You can always talk to your school, college or work so that they are able to support you.

Over to you

Are you a young carer or do you know someone who is? What’s it like? Let us know.

Did you know?

Oritse from the group JLS was a young carer from the age of 12 onwards. He cared for his mum who has multiple sclerosis.

Real life story

Photo of Nikki

Nikki cares for her mum and younger brother. Read her story.

Your comments

mental health.

I am a carer for my mum im 19 she has terrible mental health problems, it feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, not only do i have my mum to look after it is my responsibility to look after my 6 year old brother and my 16 year old brother. All i can say is that its hard, i get angry i get low i get sad and frustrated there is not alot of support available and i no one will ever understand seeing someone you love like that it hurts everyone.

Emma
fivestarsExcellent
26 Jun 2010
Average page ratingfourstars(2 votes cast)

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