Thursday 25 November is Carers Rights Day, an annual awareness day.

What is Carers Rights Day?

Carers Rights Day is an annual campaign run by Carers UK that aims to raise awareness of unpaid carers and helps to ensure that all carers understand their rights and know what support they are entitled to in their caring role. This Carers Rights Day, Carers UK hopes to empower individuals with information and support so that they can feel confident in asking what they need.

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend who could not always manage without their support. A young carer is someone aged under 18 who looks after or helps to look after someone. Carers might look after someone with a physical disability, long-term health condition, mental health issue or a problem with drink or drugs.

Knowing your rights as a young carer

As a young carer, you might not know exactly what you are entitled to from your local council. Some young carers might feel overwhelmed when speaking to professionals about how they look after someone, when to them, they just help out when their loved one needs them. Even if you believe your role as a young carer might be small, you are still important and you have rights.

One thing you are entitled to request is a Young Carer assessment. A Young Carer assessment looks further into your ability to care for someone else, the impact this might be having on you and whether there is a need for additional support. Assessments are done by the Young and Thriving team at Dorset Council and if required, they will offer support such as advocacy and/or fun breaks for you to engage in to take some pressure off. This booklet by Carers Trust explains some more about assessments if you’d like a bit more information.

How can you get involved this Carers Rights Day?

The team at Carer Support Dorset will be at the Carers Dorset Festival in Dorchester on 25 November to celebrate and raise awareness of unpaid carers for Carers Rights Day 2021. There is so much going on both virtually and face-to-face. You can find out everything you need know by visiting our Carers Dorset Festival post on our website, where you can see each activity going on that day and register for any events you would like to attend.

If you can’t attend any of the Carers Dorset Festival events, there are so many other ways you can get involved…

Write a blog for us to help other young carers to recognise their rights

We are always looking for input from young carers on our website. You could write a blog about your own experiences or something that you feel is important for other young carers to be aware of. This will help to raise awareness and make sure every young carer knows what support they could get whilst caring for their loved on.

Share your story to raise awareness of caring

We have lots of case studies that we publish on our website for young carers, parents/guardians and professionals, such as teachers, to read. We hope that by publishing young carers’ stories, more people will understand what it is like to be a young carer and can help to champion their rights. If you are a young carer and want to share your story, get in touch with us on 0800 368 8349 or admin@carersupportdorset.co.uk.

Get involved online and in your school or college

Spread the word for #CarersRightsDay on social media and try to get your school or college involved. If your school has a young carer lead or pastoral worker, ask them what they are going to do to celebrate this day and get as many people involved as possible. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up with how we are celebrating Carers Rights Day 2021 and don’t forget to use #CarersRightsDay.