On Wednesday 23rd May, eight extremely excited young carers headed down to London for a very special meeting... with Prime Minister Theresa May no less!
This incredible opportunity was secured by Paul Blomfield MP, our patron and MP for Sheffield Central, who worked closely with the members of our Action Group to help them prepare a clear list of concerns and recommendations which they shared with the Prime Minister (please see below).
Alongside each recommendation, the young carers shared their personal experiences of caring for someone in their family, providing the Prime Minister (who later complimented the group on Twitter) with an extremely powerful insight into the reality of life as a young carer.
SYC's managing director Sara also attended the meeting and said:
"Everyone was very excited but it was obviously a bit daunting too. It was just great for our Action Group to be able to speak to her and to say some of the things which are so important to them: our Action Group is all about speaking up on behalf of other young carers and trying to influence and bring about positive change for all children and young people who are caring for someone at home. The fact that they have now met the Prime Minister is incredible.”
And when asked what it was like to meet the PM, 15 year-old young carer Phoebe replied:
“She was very nice and polite and she asked questions back like ‘what can school do to help?’. She listened carefully and said she is definitely going to consider our needs.”
We are extremely proud of all the young carers we support but particularly those who helped to make this exciting event happen. Extra special thanks must go to Paul Blomfield MP, for all of his support, and the eight young people who spoke out so bravely - and who weren't afraid to ask the PM to take action!
For more photos of the big day and some fantastic messages of support from all over the UK, please visit our page on Twitter.
You can also listen to us on BBC Radio Sheffield yesterday, at about 00:01:23, 01:03:05 and 01:22:38. (Please note that this programme is only be available for 30 days from 23 May 2018 however.)
Young carers' concerns and recommendations, presented to the PM:
- Schools should be required to have a Designated Young Carers Lead, like they do for Looked After Children and children with Special Educational Needs.
- Ofsted should inspect all schools on what they are doing to identify and support young carers.
- GPs should be required by the CQC to hold a register of young carers in their practices and be inspected on this.
- Social prescribing should be available for children and young people as well as adults.
- Young carers should be a named group automatically entitled to the 16-19 Vulnerable Bursary.
- Young carers should get free travel passes.