To mark Young Carer Awareness Day on 26 January – a Bristol charity has worked with young carers to make a film which will be shown in local schools.
A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after a member of their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.
Carers Support Centre, based in Fishponds provides specialist support to carers, including children aged eight to 18.
The charity works with 32 schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire to help make sure young carers are recognised and support is put in place to help them cope. These include Victoria Park Primary and Parson Street Primary.
The film is available to all local schools and aims to educate teachers and pupils. It can also be used as a resource to help teachers identify and support young carers better.
Being a young carer can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence – with many strugglling to juggle their education and caring. Around one in 20 miss school because of their caring role.
Chief Executive of Carers Support Centre, Keith Sinclair said: “We want to raise awareness of the issues that young carers face and to identify more young carers who are not currently in contact with support services, such as ours.
“From our experience schools are one of the best places to identify young carers and our Young Carers in Education work has made great progress. However, there is much more work to be done. We want to work with more schools, identifying more young children who look after someone at home, to give them the recognition and support that they need.”