Young Carers are children as young as five years old, and any young person aged under 18, whose life is restricted in some way because they look after someone else on a regular basis.
There are approximately 10,000 Young Carers in Essex and 700,000 across the UK . They may be the main Carer, or provide partial care for their mother, father, brother, sister or other family member due to mental or physical illness, old age or disability.
The person being cared for may have a long-term illness, a physical or sensory impairment, learning difficulties, mental illness or be affected by alcohol/substance misuse.
Young Adult Carers
The term Young Adult Carer applies to anyone between 16 and 25 whose life is in some way restricted because of the need to take responsibility for the care of a person on a regular basis.
Young Carers Clubs are open!
All of our young carer clubs are open so if you are a member of our clubs in Maldon, Colchester, Harlow, Stansted, Witham, Great Dunmow or Loughton we look forward to seeing you at our next regular club night.
Please contact us if you are not already a member and are interested in joining other Young Carers at these fun groups. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, contact us via www.affc.org.uk or call us on 0300 770 8090. Alternatively, you can fill out our online referral form https://affc.org.uk/make-a-referral and one of our team will get back to you as soon as they can.
Take a look at this video to see two of our Young Carers who were keen to start back at the club following lockdown….
Parents also appreciate our Young Carer Clubs and activities:
"Just a quick email to say thank you for this half term! My daughter loves every minute of being at Young Carers and I see her confidence grow each time and it's wonderful that she can have time with friends and be cared for by you all."
Involving Young Carers
We take the views and voices of Young Carers very seriously. They are essential to the successful running of our clubs and services, helping to make sure that what we offer is exactly what the children and young people need and want. The picture below shows some of our Maldon Young Carers helping to plan for the activities in their Young Carer Club as it opens up again following Covid-19 restrictions.
Make plastic fantastic with recycling art idea
See project updates page for ongoing progress.
Young Carers Action Day Tuesday 16th March 2021
Young Carers Action day is an annual event organised by Carers Trust to raise awareness of what it means to be a Young Carer. The theme this year is Protect Young Carers’ Futures
Young Carers really brought out their creative sides, making all sorts of fun and interesting items from recycled products.
We have 3 videos below made by Nicky, our local artist, which inspired them.
You can still share your ‘creations’ on our website and social media - please email email@example.com but ask your parents first!
Kane’s super power!
Kane is a Young Carer who is also living with an eye condition called nystagmus. This means that Kane’s eyes dance about which affects the way he sees things. Kane also suffers from anxiety and worries at school.
Kane attends our Young Carer club which he says is a great place for him to meet with others who understand his caring role and accept him for who he is. He joins in all the activities and clearly benefits from the club.
Kane and his mum have also been working on ways to reduce his anxiety and relax his mind. They discovered he loves photography and notices things that others may not notice. His mum says this is a super power of having anxiety. With his eye condition, Kane has to concentrate hard when taking pictures to stay in focus and overcome hand/eye coordination issues.
We are pleased to share Kane’s Facebook page, “Within my Eyes”. Please check it out and help to increase Kane’s confidence with every “like” he receives.
Click on the icon to visit Kane's page, "Within my Eyes".
“Nothing in my moving eyes is impossible now, and I use this to my advantage, the more I have to concentrate the more i see the beauty and detail around me. Please like and follow my page and follow me on my photography journey.” Kane, aged 10
Looking after yourself as a Young Carer
Being a Young Carer can be worrying.
We have some short films that will help you to understand how you can cope with anxiety, worry, anger and deal with the unknown.
Watch the films when it suits you. It would be great to hear what you think of them, and if the films help, by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ideas for getting crafty!
We know that you all enjoy getting crafty so these films will give you some crafty tips and get inspired!
Please take a photo of your work and email to us email@example.com if you are happy for us to share your work on our social media.
Our School Service provides:
- One-to-one support sessions in school giving Young Carers the opportunity to talk confidentially to somebody who understands.
- Practical support such as providing support in meetings with teachers to explain why, for example, they have fallen behind with their homework.
- Informal drop-in groups where Young Carers can meet others in the same situation and access information and advice.
- Information on how to access Respite Clubs in the local area where Young Carers can meet other young people in the same situation.
- Raising awareness of Young Carers to both staff and students through PSHE lessons, assemblies and Teacher Training.
Our group work in schools includes fun games that involve social skills and sharing of opinions and ideas. These create good friendships and enable the Young Carers to support each other.
We also work with Young Carers who have finished their interaction with agencies who give more intensive or specialist support; they mix with other Young Carers in our groups which greatly facilitates their progress and resilience.
Young Carer Club Nights
Our Young Carers Club nights run on weekday evenings at youth centres in Colchester, Loughton, Harlow, Maldon, Stansted, Dunmow and Witham.
Many events take place at club night including access to computers, games such as pool and table tennis, arts and crafts, life skills such as cooking and varied seasonal activities. Occasional trips and other activities run over school holidays.
Clubs give Young Carers a chance to make friends who are also caring for someone, to have fun and a break from their caring role.