Are you 18 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.
If you think you might be a young carer, you can get lots of help and support from East Sussex Young Carers. We can help you by:
- Meeting you face to face for a chat, to give you advice or simply listen.
- Providing information, advice and guidance through the Young Carers Hub. We may be able to find support for you as well as your family which may make things easier for you.
- Providing Chill Clubs - these are dedicated groups in East Sussex for Young Carers to meet each other, talk about their caring role and of course have fun! Activities include cooking, sports, arts and crafts, games or just chilling and chatting.
- Providing workshops on topics that are important to Young Carers such as First Aid, Photography & Self-esteem, Dance, Music and DJing.
East Sussex Young Carers
Telephone: 0300 777 2011
You can always ask a parent, teacher or Connexions PA to contact us for you
There are over 3,000 Young Carers in East Sussex, but there could be another 14,000 hidden Young Carers!
Please don’t feel alone because there is Support!
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.
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.
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.
Are you a young carer or do you know someone who is? What’s it like? Let us know.