An exciting new partnership is providing young carers and young adult carers in West Sussex with some much-needed fun and a break from caring.
West Sussex County Council’s Young Carers (Family) Team and charity Carers Support West Sussex have teamed up with Sussex Clubs for Young People to offer young carers a host of new face-to-face groups and activities.
Jacquie Russell, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, said: “Young carers in West Sussex have told us they’ve felt especially isolated during the pandemic at a time when they have faced many additional challenges. So it’s really important that these inspirational young people can now take part in these inclusive and welcoming groups where they can make new friends, talk openly and most importantly, have fun.”
The Council’s Young Carers (Family) Team supports registered carers under the age of 18 and Carers Support helps those aged 18 to 25. Both work together to identify young people who have caring responsibilities and help ensure the right support is in place for them and their families.
Following two years of online support due to Covid-19 restrictions, the young carers are already benefiting from meeting up for games of pool or table tennis, arts and crafts and trips to the theatre and cinema.
Keiron, 12, is a young carer for his mum. He was unable to socialise and the pressures at home meant he was struggling with anxiety and his confidence. The Young Carers (Family) keyworker helped to ensure the family had the right support in place, including financial help and one-to-one one support where Kieron could talk about his worries. Keiron was encouraged to join a young carer group near him and said: “I have made friends and the staff are really nice. This group gives me a chance to get away from all my troubles at home and talk to other young carers.”
Lena, eight, is a young carer for her three siblings who has also received support from her keyworker and is benefiting from attending activity days for primary-aged children. Lena said: “it’s made a big difference having different activities to go to, I get some time to myself and get to meet new people and make friends.”
Sonia Mangan, CEO for Carers Support West Sussex said: “The last two years have been hard for us all and especially people who have been caring for others. We are grateful to all the children and young adults who have gone above and beyond, and as a partnership we want to give them a little light relief. Thank you to the children and young adult carers for all you have done, are doing, and will do in future.”
Wednesday 16 March 2022 is national Young Carers Action Day and this year’s theme, chosen by young carers, is Taking Action on Isolation. To support the day West Sussex Young Carers (Family) Team have launched a new course to help raise awareness of young carers. ‘Working with young carers and their families’ is a free course open to anyone who works with adults and children and can be included as part of training for staff and volunteers.
Those who are registered as either a young carer or a young adult carer also receive the Carers Discount Card, offering discounts at businesses and services who are signed up in their area.
For further information on support for Young Carers (under 18):
For further information on support for Young Adult Carers (18 – 25):