'Healthy 4 life' with SYC's Family Project

Healthy 4 Life: Giving cared-for parents the chance to develop new skills, build resilience and gain confidence.

Using a whole family approach, SYC’s Family Project works with young carers and their cared-for parents to help reduce the impact of caring upon the young carer.

Over the last year, we have had the pleasure of working alongside Andy Stockton, tutor at the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA). Together we have co-designed and delivered health and wellbeing courses tailored to the specific needs of the families that we support.

As part of our group work programme, we aim to provide parents with opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing and their resilience, with course content focused on healthy living, personal development, confidence building, assertiveness and stress management.

The second of our WEA courses is now well underway, providing cared-for parents with unique opportunities to come together and learn lifelong skills that will help both them and their young carers.

Our latest session (pictured here) focused on relationships and self-esteem - or ‘emotional self defence’, as one of the parents called it. The group worked together, looking at the emotional toolkit needed for relating to others. They were surprised when they were able to highlight just how many of the qualities they possessed and were already skilled in using.

For some parents, the course is offering a journey of self-discovery; for others, a chance to reduce their isolation and build supportive friendships. But without exception, everyone who is attending has reported improvements to their sense of self-worth and their confidence levels.

Here are just a few comments that cared-for parents have made about our WEA course:

  • “I feel like I am rediscovering my self-respect & confidence.”

  • “I receive support and friendship, I really look forward to coming.”

  • “I left the session feeling like I could take on the world.”

  • “I really enjoyed it. It made me realise that I am not alone and that there are other people who are also struggling. I felt a lot happier after the course because I was with other people and had left the house.”

  • “I really enjoyed myself. I was buzzing when I came home and (my young carer) was quite surprised by my attitude because I was just really happy. I had made new friends and they are a lovely group of people. I can’t wait to go again.”

It is real a privilege and pleasure to work with these parents and to watch them grow. Sometimes through tears and often through laughter, the friendship and support that they are offering to each other as they learn together is immeasurable. 

We would like to thank Andy and the rest of the team at WEA for working with us to deliver this brilliant course. We hope that they are able to continue offering these opportunities to the cared-for parents we support well into the future.

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