25/01/2018 - Permalink

Song created by young carers released in celebration of Young Carers Awareness Day

Related topics: Children's services / Health / Partner organisations

Young carers across Shropshire came together at The Hive in Shrewsbury recently, to create a song about their lives as a young carer. The song launched on the Jim Hawkins morning show on BBC Radio Shropshire today (Thursday 25 January 2018): click here to listen.

Young carer at The Hive song

Young carer at The Hive song

The song marks the national Young Carers Awareness Day today, which recognises the vital role and challenges that young carers face, and was created by young carers in collaboration with Carers Trust 4all and The Hive Arts Centre in Shrewsbury.

The song is not only written and performed by young carers, they also filmed a video for the track.

Young carers at The Hive song

Young carers at The Hive song

One young person said they

“had fun, made new friends, got our message out”.

Jill Livingstone, service manager, said:-

“This unique hidden workforce are often unidentified. We are working hard to engage these young people, many of whom don’t realise they are young carers because it’s all they have ever known. Through creative collaborations with organisations like The Hive, these workshops can really help develop the young carers’ confidence, self-esteem and interpersonal skills.”

Young carers at The Hive song

Young carers at The Hive song

Who is a young carer?

A young carer is a child or young person aged 5 to 18 years who looks after someone (usually a family member) who could not manage without that help. These young people carry out a substantial caring role for a person who may suffer from a physical disability, mental health illness, or a drug or alcohol related issue. Things they do may include: cooking, cleaning, looking after siblings and helping with medication. This can affect their time to socialise with friends, do homework or revise for exams, etc.

Carers Trust4 All provides services for young carers on behalf of Shropshire Council. The organisation offers a wealth of advice and support for young carers including respite breaks, peer support groups, one-to-one support and advocacy.

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health, adult social care and housing, said:

“Young carers in Shropshire do a fantastic job, and we are proud of them all. Today is Young Carers Awareness Day, and an opportunity to raise awareness in our communities about what a young carer does. Support for young carers in Shropshire is provided by Carers Trust 4All, and priorities within the Shropshire All Age Carers Strategy are actively working to address the needs of our young carers.”

What young carers have told us

Young carers have told us they want to be treated as a young person first, and as an individual in their own right.

They also spoke of a need for a consistent approach for young carers in schools, to enable a better understanding of managing schoolwork and access to further support as needed. Work to address this has included joint working with Telford and Wrekin Young Carers to make a short film about being a young carer which can be viewed here, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K34qnaMcLcw and a multi-agency approach to actively implement actions identified through the Shropshire All-Age Carers Strategy to support young carers.

I am a young carer, where can I get help and support?

Please ring 01743 341995 during office hours, or email shropyc@carerstrust4all.org.uk.