Young Carers challenge professionals to ask them if they care.
Young carers involved in today’s Gloucestershire Young Carers’ annual Twilight Briefing conference say the first step to supporting young carers in the community is to identify young carers.
Speaking at the annual conference run by the charity for delegates from health, social care and education, young people from across Gloucestershire said there is still a need for professionals to ask the simple question: “Do you help to care for your family member?”
17 year old Tom said: “The simplest way to start the conversation is to put the question out there: “What do you do for your mum or dad, you may be a young carer”.
The theme of this year’s conference, held at Pavilion in Cheltenham was ‘Perception vs Reality’. More than 100 delegates attended to hear stories and experiences of young people from 12 to 21 and participate in workshops run by the young carers together with charity leads.
Chairpersons for the evening were Gloucestershire Young Carers Operations Lead Ele Semadeni and young carer Tia Lumakangilu.
Tia, who is 17, has been engaged with the charity for nine years. She said: “After all that time of being a young carer there are still situations where I have to explain what a young carer is and how being a young carer affects me – whether that is to teachers at school or to employers.”
More than 7000 young people in Gloucestershire are believed to be in caring roles for family members experiencing disability, mental ill health, physical illness or substance misuse issues. Gloucestershire Young Carers provides support, working with a raft of partner agencies and organisations. The charity is currently engaged with around 1000 young carers and reaches many more through its network. Its aim is to reduce the impact of the caring role on the aspirations and achievements of the young people.