Going virtual has made getting young carers from ten different areas around the UK working together even easier. The initial meeting of National Young Carers Voice took place in Birmingham in February 2020 and was organised by Sheffield Young Carers and Gloucestershire Young Carers. Young carers spent the day in workshops and chose a campaign for collective action over the next – which was working to improve identification and support for young carers in education.
When coronavirus and subsequent restrictions hit us, the group decided that it would be a shame to lose the momentum of the campaign. We felt it would be a good opportunity to come together and look at the specific needs of young carers at this difficult time, and what could be done to improve the situation for them.
Over the last 6 months, with support from GYC, National Young Carers Voice has had 3 online meetings and has used its collective knowledge and action to improve outcomes for young carers.
Key Achievements so far in 2020:
Top Tips for Identifying and Supporting Young Carers in Education During Covid-19 (click here to read)
This was shared widely across the UK during Carers Week in June 2020, it was also picked up by the Children’s Society and the Carers Trust to be used in their Covid Support Guidance. Positive feedback from professionals across the country included:
‘I never realised that young carers may not know they are young carers’.
‘Thank you. The information is interesting and thought provoking’.
Identification & Screening toolkit for professionals
This has now begun to be used across the country to help identify hidden young carers and to give staff who may lack the knowledge and confidence to talk to children and young people about caring the words and know-how they need.