To mark Young Carers Action Day (16 March) a local charity is raising awareness by releasing a film for local schools.
Bristol-based Carers Support Centre says the average age of a young carer is just 13 years old and some are as young as eight – carrying the responsibility of looking after sick and disabled family members.
The charity supports young carers with assessments, one-to-one and family support as well as providing groups and activities.
It has produced the film for local schools – with former young carers sharing their experience and talking about how they have achieved their goals.
The films highlights the skills of young carers and inspires them to follow their aspirations.
Carers Support Centre says: “Young carers carry a heavy responsibility, caring for sick and disabled family members. They are often anxious, isolated and lonely, fall behind with school work and are bullied…
“This year, young carers want the day to be about their futures. They aim to highlight the incredible skills they have developed through being a carer – like resilience, time-management, organisational skills and empathy.
“These are all important skills, not just for young people moving into higher education – but also for those looking to enter the workplace. What’s more, they are skills highly sought after by employers.”
Local carer Tasha was supported by the charity’s young carers service.
She said: “The support and respite were incredible and everyone was so encouraging.
“Without Carers Support Centre, my life would have taken a completely different path. They gave me a voice and made me feel listened to. The charity gave a lot to me and I wanted to give back, so I now volunteer for the young carers service.”
You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoBEUKmza4U
If you know a young person who looks after someone at home, visit the Carers Support Centre website to find out more about their services and how to make a young carer referral: www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk