At the end of the month, on Thursday 30 January, we will be joining various organisations in sharing the importance of Young Carer Awareness Day.

Young Carer Awareness Day raises awareness of some of the challenges that young carers face in their day-to-day lives.

Young Carers

Young Carers facts – courtesy of Carers Trust

According to Carers Trust, who organise the awareness day, recent research has estimated that one in five secondary school children may be classed as young carers. Many young carers actually become carers even younger than this! Often children can be caring for relative or a friend who has an illness, disability or addiction problems and they may help with cooking, cleaning, collecting prescriptions or getting someone dressed.

Caring for someone can be very isolating, worrying and stressful. For young carers, this can negatively impact on their experiences and outcomes in education, having a lasting effect on their future prospects.

Here at Carer Support Dorset, we’ll be joining Carers Trust in spreading the word about young carers as part of their ‘Count Me In!’ campaign. This campaign will be asking education providers to do more to identify young carers and to make sure they are recognised and supported. Join in with showing your support on social media by posting using #CountMeIn and #YoungCarerAwarenessDay

How can I help a young carer?

There are lots of organisations that can help young carers. Please encourage the young carer to get in touch with us and we can help signpost them to organisations that may be able to help. It’s also worth letting the young carer’s school or education provider know their situation as teaching staff may be able to help with deadlines and reducing the pressure.

If you work at a school or education provider here in Dorset then we’d love to hear from you. We can visit schools and colleges to give presentations about young carers and to offer information, advice and guidance to the young carer.

There’s also Childline, the free and confidential telephone helpline for children on 0800 11 11 and the NHS have a really handy guide to how to help young carers too.

Young carers in Dorset are also entitled to a Dorset Carers Card. This card gives discounts off local businesses and also currently includes the following types of discount:

• Cafes and restaurants
• Sports and leisure
• Computer and mobile phone repairs
• Beauty and skincare
• Bike repairs
• Bookshops
• And even the Oceanarium in Bournemouth!

Please contact us to register for your carers card.