Carers Week 6th-12th June  

Carers Week is brought to life by individuals, groups and organisations coming together to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

Carers Week celebrates carers of all ages, and as part of this GYC wants to make sure that the contribution of young and young adult carers is acknowledged.

The theme this year is ‘making caring visible and valued’ and GYC has lots planned to make sure we do this!

Our big Carers Week Call-out to school has meant we will have a busy week doing special assemblies in primary and secondary schools across Gloucester, Cirencester and the Forest of Dean.  Our ‘carer aware’ assemblies raise the profile of young carers and help all students to understand who young carers are and the kinds of things they do.  By raising awareness amongst young people and staff they also help us and schools identify hidden young carers that are not known to our service and may be caring at home without any additional support. 

Schools play a critical role in the lives of young carers and can help to reduce the impact of caring especially on education outcomes and wellbeing.  During Carers Week we will be launching our newly developed e-Learning tool to enable key staff in schools across the county to increase their knowledge and confidence in understanding, identifying and supporting young carers.

Our groups and events during Carers Week will focus on activities around ‘feeling valued’ as carers and improving wellbeing.  We will also be sharing some young carers’ stories and voices across social media.

Fantastic team building day at Croft Farm

Our Us Too wellbeing programme supports young carers who have a family member with mental ill-health.  Our second session always involves the group having a team activity day – getting out there, getting wet, having new experiences and having fun.  We chat to Health Development Worker Kate Moss about the day

Tell us about the group you took this time?

They are eight 8-10 year olds from all over the county.  They had only met each other once before so it was opportunity to get to know each other better and try new things together.

How was the day?

What an amazing day we had.  The sun was shining, the lake wasn’t too cold and everyone got stuck in.

Do you see a change in the group during the team day?

Absolutely – they arrived looking nervous and saying they are not sure about things like going on the water.  By the end of the day they are beaming and we sent them home feeling tired and very proud of themselves for giving it all a go and overcoming their fears.

Why is the outdoor team day so important to have as part of the programme.?

Well in a nutshell it involves all five ways to wellbeing. CONNECT, as they meet and chat to others, LEARN– as they do new things such paddle a kayak, GIVE by helping and supporting  each other when someone is unsure, TAKE NOTICE of the water and countryside and how it makes them feel and obviously BEING ACTIVE with swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding and archery.

How did you all feel afterwards?

Exhausted but exhilarated.  They all had a fantastic time.  I had a text from one parent saying ‘ he had a great time – can barely keep his eyes open now’.

Find out more about our Us Too programme and how we support young carers who care for a family member who has mental ill health on our website.

Golfing for GYC – can you raise a wedge of cash for young carers in the county this Summer?

There are loads of ways you can raise money for us from a day on the golf course. Choose how you want to get involved and create your own golf fundraiser.

Are you a president of a golf club – could you choose us as your charity for the year? Want to organise a competitive golf day with local businesses? Or will you take on a golfing challenge with your local club? Or how about a 3 course challenge, playing 54 holes over 3 courses in a day? You could hold a golf quiz with friends or get sponsored to dress up in your snazziest golf clothing at work? It’s up to you! Whatever you decide to do the money raised will make a huge difference to young carers lives in Gloucestershire.

Get in contact with our Fundraising Team today to share your ideas – email sally@glosyoungcarers.org.uk

Time to say THANKS to our volunteers.

We are kindly supported every year by many wonderful volunteers who give their time to our charity. We really couldn’t do what we do without them – from helping out at events and activity days, driving, admin, fundraising, mentoring, advising and lots more we wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to each and everyone who helps us support the young in young carer. #volunteersweek

“We would like to thank all the wonderful volunteers who give up their time to support the work of GYC – be that frying burgers on a bar-b-que, driving young carers to their groups or, as a trustee, ensuring the good governance of the organisation. Your contributions are invaluable, expanding the opportunities we are able to offer young carers, and enriching their enjoyment of activities.  We would not be able to do what we do without you!!”

Ele Semadeni, Operations Manager

“As Volunteer Coordinator at Gloucestershire Young Carers, I have the privilege to meet many people from all walks of life and different generations who are looking to volunteer at our charity and certainly feel behind every successfully organised event there is an extraordinary volunteer team.

I see my role as a link between what needs doing and finding the right people to do it.  It’s like a dating agency in a way, trying to marry up people with the right opportunities.

Sending a big thank you to our volunteers for your time and patience, you all help to make my job easier.  We love our volunteers!”

Sue Auld, Volunteer Coordinator

Fresh support from art lovers for GYC

We are delighted to be the chosen charity for the vibrant Fresh Art Fair again this year, held at the Centaur in Cheltenham.

We will have a stand throughout the event to raise awareness of our charity and hopefully receive some donations. As part of our partnership we have kindly been offered free tickets for opening night and throughout the fair that can be extended to supporters of our charity.

Anthony Wardle, organiser of the fair said “ we wanted to support you again as we think the work you do is admirable and important as well as being local” As the Fresh Art Fair Charity Partner, we are delighted to offer supporters of Gloucestershire Young Carers free tickets to the Fair this June. Each ticket admits two people to the Private View from 5.30 to 9.00pm on Thursday 9th June and is valid for unlimited visits throughout the weekend.  Private view guests enjoy free wine, and first pick of the art.  Please book your tickets if you wish using promo code Carers.”

www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/267762253107/?discount=Carers

Link to Fresh: website home page Freshartfair.net

Becky Parish

Why did you decide to volunteer for GYC?

The simple answer is that I was invited – and I am very bad at saying ‘No’ when someone asks me nicely to do something. I have no regrets that I said ‘yes’, all those years ago.

What kind of things do you get involved with?

I am a Trustee of GYC, which means that I sit on the Board. For the last few years I have been the Chair of Trustees (I am Vice Chair now, we like to take it in turns). Being the Chair means you have to ensure that Board meetings run smoothly and that all matters discussed are considered conscientiously. If that wasn’t exciting enough, I do get involved in some more colourful activities – see photo!!

How does volunteering make you feel?

Proud, not of myself, but of the young people and their families, because often they don’t have the choice of saying ‘No’.

What would you say to anyone else thinking about volunteering with GYC?

As Starsky would say: Do it!

Lighter longer days are here so get inspired to get your running shoes on for GYC!

With the change in the seasons and longer, lighter days it’s the perfect time to train for a run whether you are a seasoned pro, a running returner or total newbie.  Having a goal of raising money for a charity you care about and completing a race is a great motivator to keep your goals in sight and have an incentive to keep going.

With lots of local races in Gloucestershire back for 2022 there are plenty of distances and terrains to choose from and we can help with ideas if you want to go for a race a bit further afield. We will provide you with a fab bright white GYC running vest and support with your fundraising.

What are you waiting for – run for GYC and feel amazing this year!

Staff and shoppers go the eggstra mile at Easter to raise money for GYC!

Our amazing charity partners Midcounties Co-operative Forest of Dean community region raised a whopping £2000 for GYC with their Easter fundraising eggstravaganza! With a whole host of fun activities for customers to enjoy everyone made a cracking effort, we are so grateful to everyone who organised the activities which included easter egg hunts, guess the name of the bunny, cake sales and more. Thank you to all the customers who donated to our charity helping to raise such a fantastic amount of money to support young carers in the county.

If your company would like to raise money for GYC or become a charity partner get in contact with our Fundraising Manager Sally today by calling 01452 733060 or email sally@glosyoungcarers.org.uk.

Yac Futures

We were very happy to be back face to face for our annual careers and education event YAC Futures in 2022.  

Young Adult Carers face additional challenges around the transition to college, university and work as they have to manage the constraints of their caring role as they plan for their futures.  YAC FUTURES is designed especially to give them the time, space, knowledge and confidence to think through their plans and ambitions for the next stage in their life and get inspired by others. 

21 young adult carers aged 16-24 attended this event held at the fantastic Skillzone in Gloucester and kindly sponsored by Midcounties Coop, Alexander Burn Funeral Directors and Gloucester Rotary. 

After refreshments and an ice breaker there was a choice of workshops in the morning which set up the day well – YACS were informed about life at University/Further Education, how Apprenticeships work and a session on CV Writing and Interview tips. 

The speed networking is the most exciting part of the day – this is where YAC’s get a unique opportunity to meet 10 local businesses and professionals face to face and ask them questions about their jobs and own career paths.  There was a wide range of opportunities to discuss including fire service, police, retail, engineering, and the creative industries. What made this part of the day more engaging was that YACs rotated around the Skillzone safety village for the networking meetings, for example meeting the representatives from the co-op in an actual model co-op!

The Feedback from the young adult carers was very positive.

‘Very insightful’

‘Overall – an amazing event – thank you!

‘The speed networking was awesome’.

‘I had so much fun it was amazing’

We are so grateful to our GYC volunteers and the following businesses for giving up their time and helping make this event such a great success – Hooray Recruitment Spirax Sarco University of Gloucestershire The Midcounties Co-operative Tayntons Solicitors 10 Yetis Digital GE Aviation NHS Gloucestershire CCG Gloucestershire Constabulary National Star Gloucestershire fire and rescue service and Alexander Burn Funeral Directors.   We could not run this event without the help of these supporters – who really get how it important to speak directly to young adult carers and for them to know that they can realise their ambitions.

New E-learning Tool for Schools is go!

Education staff in Gloucestershire now have a concise yet comprehensive e-learning course to enable them to become ‘young carer aware’.

GYC has developed an interactive 30-minute course that can be completed online (with help from local specialist company Nimble eLearning). After completing the course, participants should then be able to:

UNDERSTAND

  • List the reasons that a child or young person may become a carer
  • State the legal protections that young carers have
  • Describe the key issues that young carers face in schools

IDENTIFY

  • Identify the possible signs or indicators of being a young carer
  • Describe the challenges and barriers that prevent young carers being identified

SUPPORT

  • Develop ideas on how to improve support for young carers in their setting

The course has many interactive elements to help make the learning experience better, and as our audience is mostly teachers we needed to make sure we gave them a good learning experience! Our target is to get 50 key school and college staff to complete the course in year one of its launch.  

We know that there are many young carers in the county who are ‘hidden’ and not yet known to the GYC or their school and therefore unable to access support.  One of the best ways to ensure that hidden young carers are identified is through raising awareness in schools and ensuring teachers and pastoral staff are confident to look for possible indicators and ask the right questions.  We hope this course will help in this mission and that it will be an easy and convenient way for busy school staff to become ‘young carer aware’.   The course can be used as part of their CPD (Continual Professional Development) and course completers are emailed a certificate to show thy have passed the course.

If are interested in completing the course or know someone who would be – please email Hana Gill hana@glosyoungcarers.org.uk with your name, job title and email address and and we would be happy to enrol you onto it!

GYC would like to thank Deb Jorden at Severn Vale Academy and Andrea Hannis at Chosen Hill for road testing the course for us and giving some valuable feedback.  We would also like to thank the staff at Nimble for working with us to get this course completed and live!