Thursday 25 January is Young Carers Awareness Day, a national day of recognition for the UK’s 700,000 young carers. With an estimated 7,300 young carers in Sheffield alone, we'd love you to help us by joining our campaign to ‘Give Young Carers a Break’.
Taking time out when you’re caring for a member of your family can be hard. But having a good break can sometimes be the only difference between a young carer who is able to cope and a young carer who has reached crisis point.
Jack is 11 and he started caring for his mum when he was eight.
Jack cares for his mum because she has mental health problems, diabetes and liver disease, which have a negative impact on her energy levels and mobility. Jack’s mum has ‘on and off’ days and, with no other support at home, she struggles to manage everyday tasks.
As a result, Jack takes on a lot of practical care, including shopping, washing and cleaning. He also keeps his mum company when she is unable to move and worries about her during the day, which affects his school work and his ability to concentrate.
When we started supporting Jack, he was struggling to cope with the move from primary up to secondary school. Our support worker helped Jack to find out more about his mum’s illnesses which helped to reduce his anxiety. He also helped to find Jack and his mum practical ways to manage better, like doing their shopping online.
After several one-to-ones, Jack joined one of our groups for 8-12 year-olds which helped him make new friends and grow in confidence. We also set up a meeting at Jack’s new school, to discuss what support they were able to offer him. Jack said he felt much better about school after the meeting.
Toward the end of his time with Sheffield Young Carers, our support worker arranged a very special treat for him, to give a break from his caring role and to boost his self-esteem. Jack is very passionate about Porsche cars and Matt Stripling and the team at Porsche Centre Sheffield were only too happy to help by arranging an incredible tour of their showroom and workshop – even taking Jack on a test drive!
Jack said that after receiving support from SYC, ‘I have got out more, [I] feel confident [and] I have made lots of new friends’ and ‘I’ll never forget the Porsche visit’.
Life for young carers like Jack clearly isn’t easy. But the good news is that you can help!
From providing free tickets or vouchers to hosting an exciting activity for young carers, there are lots of different ways you – or your company – can ‘Give Young Carers a Break’. Use our simple online form to pledge your support, text SYCP20 followed by £3, £5 or £10 to 70070, or make on online donation to support our work today. Every gift received will help Sheffield Young Carers to give more young carers a break. Thank you.
And if you know or work with a young carer who needs a break, did you know that you can apply for a £300 grant to help them? Click here to find out more and check who can apply. Please note that our next application deadline is Friday 9 February.