HUCSF last month announced funding from the Hays Travel Foundation to work with young carers in Hartlepool to offer respite , social and sporting activities away from the pressures they experience in their roles at home.
We are now three weeks into our project and what can we say?
The young people we work with each week are truly inspirational. Some of these children come alone, others are siblings but they have developed a bond that is wonderful to see and is not limited by age or hobbies.
There are some real characters within the group – sporty types, funny, clever and definitely LOUD (!) but they are honestly a lovely group and we look forward to our Wednesday evening sessions.
So far we have played football, dodgeball and other sports and next week we are taking the group bowling to Larry’s Lane and I can see some competitive streaks coming out!
What we really want to do is raise awareness of the support that Hartlepool Carers (who, by the way, are awesome) can provide to young people who may be in need. So what exactly is a young carer?
A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. This support can be emotional or physical. Some of the children are as young as 5!
What might a young carer do?
- Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
- Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed.
- Emotional support, such as talking to someone who is distressed.
- Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
- Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
- Helping to give medicine.
- Helping someone communicate.
- Looking after brothers and sisters.
Being a young carer can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up
- It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
- Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
- In a survey, 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.
- 26% have been bullied at school because of their caring role.
- 1 in 20 miss school because of their caring role.
If you feel that you or someone you know may be classed as a young carer then please get in touch with Hartlepool Carers on 01429 283095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org