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Raising awareness of challenges faced by Young Carers in North Somerset #CareForMeToo

Being a young carer is a risk factor for the mental health of children and young people. That’s why Young Carers Awareness Day (31 January 2019) will focus on mental health.

Our Carers Support Alliance offers support for young people who are carers for family members who are ill or disabled, experiencing mental health problems or struggling with addiction.

According to the Carers Trust, the mental health of young carers can be affected by the pressures of their caring role. Recent research shows that as many as one in five secondary school children in England are caring for a family member. For young people, caring for someone can be very isolating, worrying and stressful. It may also impact their education and take them away from friends and childhood fun. All of this can lead to mental health problems.

Mandy Summers, our Head of Neighbourhoods and Sustainability, said: “We’re proud to offer a lifeline to young carers to relieve some of the stresses that go with caring at a young age.  We know that having caring responsibilities can make life much harder and can make young people feel different to other people their own age.

“Young carers often miss out on school and social opportunities, so Alliance’s support service is somewhere they can go for help and to meet other young people who have experienced caring at a young age.”

The Carers Trust reported that 39% of young adult carers in England are living with anxiety or depression, compared with 28% of young people without a caring role.

It's estimated that there’s around 2,000 young people in North Somerset have caring responsibilities at home. The Carers Support Alliance, which is supported by Alliance Homes Group and North Somerset Council, with funding from BBC Children in Need, the YMCA and other charitable organisations, offers one-to-one support for young carers, regular meet ups, support with education and employment opportunities and coordination of day trips and school holiday events for young carers in the county. 

Liccy is 14-years-old and has been involved with the Carers Support Alliance for nearly 10 years. Her younger brother has multiple complex needs. She said: “If I ever need anyone to talk to there’s always someone there for me. It’s great to be able to meet others going through the same things. A highlight for me has been the trips out; Go Karting, ice skating, drama workshops and so much more. I’ve made so many lifelong friends because of the Carers Support Alliance.”

Find out more about our Carers Support Alliance here.