January 26th marks Young Carers Awareness Day: a day of recognition for young people in caring roles established by Carers Trust and supported in the county by Gloucestershire Young Carers.
The charity here in Gloucestershire will be encouraging people to support the ‘real superheroes’ in our communities, the thousands of young people that are exceptional in the essential support they give their families every day.
Gloucestershire Young Carers will launch a social media campaign #realsuperheroes #YCAD #YoungCarerAwarenessDay to reflect this message.
Schools in particular are getting involved in the day with assemblies and activities to help people understand the role of young carers and the challenges they face on a daily basis.
Gloucester Academy will be receiving recognition for the support they offer to more than 40 young carers in their school to make sure they have the same opportunities as other children within the school community. The school will receive their Young Carers Accreditation award, endorsed by Gloucestershire Healthy Living & Learning.
Mandy Pugh, Young Carers Lead at Gloucester Academy, says: ‘Life is often complex and children, young people and adults find themselves dealing with difficult situations, changes in circumstances and also health difficulties etc. For a young person this can result in them taking increased responsibility for caring and supporting adults in the family home.
Our role in school is to work together with Young Carers Gloucestershire and to identify when support is needed and to remove barriers to learning.
Support takes many forms, a listening ear, a group session, simply meeting with other young people who are in a similar situation. It could also be in the form of support around homework responsibilities and generally around the anxiety that we carry when we are concerned about a family member. We have a school counsellor who is able to provide psycho-therapy, and our school nurse drop-in where youngsters can receive specific support for this.
Understanding the needs of our young people is the key. It’s always helpful if parents and carers advise us of difficulties, but at Secondary School age it’s even more important that each young person is able to identify an adult in school who they can speak to. Our Young Carers Co-ordinator, Mrs Davies is our dedicated member of staff who supports in making referrals, hosting group activities and, more recently, setting up a mentoring buddy arrangement where older Young Carers are partnered to support younger Young Carers. We are always looking out for opportunities and activities to improve our provision, and we will continue to do so.’
Other awareness raising events will be taking place across the county – including events at Gloucester College and The Crypt School.
Ele Semadeni, Operations Manager for Gloucestershire Young Carers says: “Our work day to day involves helping to make people aware of the impact that caring can have on young people. We work in partnership not only with schools but also GPs, social care and other agencies, supporting the family as a whole. Young Carers Awareness Day provides an opportunity to really throw the spotlight on young carers’ issues and we are inviting supporters to think ‘young carer’ throughout the day.”
Anyone can help to support the Gloucestershire’s young carers by joining the #realsuperheroes social media campaign or by donating through Gloucestershire Young Carers’ website or via Text to Donate: GLYC01 plus your donation amount 2, 5 or 10 to 70070.