Young Carers Awareness Day may have been and gone for 2020 but that doesn’t mean that young carers should be forgotten.

Young carers often face daily battles with balancing caring with their education, not to mention their social life and hobbies.

They could be caring unpaid for a family member or a friend who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. They can be siblings, sons and daughters, grandchildren, very young, not living with the person they care for or looking after more than one person.

Organisations such as ourselves at Carer Support Dorset, the local authority and the young person’s GP can help support the young carer with their information, advice and guidance in making the most of their situation.

The Commitment to the Carers team at the NHS have spoken to over 400 young and young adult carers in the last few months and from their hundreds of comments they have collated the following 5 top tips. Young carers say that GPs need to:

1. Recognise that young carers have individual needs and shouldn’t all be treated the same.
2. Think about the support and understanding a young carer may need.
3. Listen and hear what young carers are saying.
4. Avoid relying on young carers interpreting for the person they care for.
5. Think about how GPs can make appointments more accessible; after school, double appointments etc.

Focusing on point three, the NHS made a video along with young carers about how listening for just five minutes to them can make a big difference in their lives:

If you would like to know more about how you can support young carers you know, take a look at our resources on our young carers area of our website or contact us on 0800 368 8349.