A young carer is somebody aged between 5 and 24 years old who cares for, or is affected by, a family member who has:
- A physical disability
- A long-term physical illness
- A mental health illness
- An dependency on drugs and/or alcohol
While some young carers offer practical help, others may suffer more emotionally. Caring for a parent with a physical condition, for example, may involve physical help such as getting dressed or doing the cooking, but caring for a parent with a mental health problem, or who misuses drugs or alcohol, involves more emotional guidance and support. Young carers might feel the need to keep an eye on the person they care for and worry about them when they are away from home.
We call young carers who are aged 16-24 years old young adult carers.
Providing activities and support for young people
The support we offer is based on the young person’s needs. Some examples of support include:
- An opportunity to meet other young carers, share experiences and support each other
- Time with an advisor to discuss your situation and learn new ways of coping
- Information to help you understand the condition of your cared for
- Time out from your caring role – learn new skills and have some fun
- Provide advocacy when a voice is needed
We endeavour to support young people through crucial points of their life whether this is deciding on further or higher education or employment, or choices about independence.
“The young people we work with say: “The advisers are very friendly and give you useful advice and information that will make you feel more happy and confident when speaking to others. Plus it’s a great way to make new friends who are in the same situations as yourself. It’s a great way to have a break from home.”