It was an early start on Monday 16th October for eight of the GYC team. We set off to Manchester to attend the ‘Young Carers Futures conference' the first from the Young Carers Alliance hosted by Carers Trust.
The Young Carers Alliance is a growing network of over 150 organisations and 350 individuals committed to changing this and improving the support available for young carers, young adult carers and their families. GYC has been involved in this group since it was set up in 2021 and were keen to be at its first conference and hear from the experts and those at the forefront of change and service development for young carers.
The mornings keynote speaker was Saul Becker – the world's leading academic on young carers – who gave an impactful presentation on the importance of retaining the focus on preventing caring, alongside reducing the level or impact of the caring role and providing interventions to ensure that young carers have access to opportunities for support and respite.
The afternoon saw the arrival of the Children’s Commissioner for England who gave the afternoons keynote speech and showed her commitment to ensure better identification and support for young carer is one of her key priorities for her time in office.
There was a variety of breakout sessions to choose from on a range of different topics such as employment, education, transition, and mental health. We were very proud of our outgoing Health Development Worker Kate Moss for presenting as part of the mental health workshop alongside OurTime CEO Dympna Cunnane about GYC’s experiences setting up KidsTime workshops Gloucestershire, and the impact that this has had on the families involved.
It was a tiring but inspiring day and there was a real sense in the room that things are moving forward for young carers. By working together and sharing our evidence of best practice we can make the changes needed for more young carers to be identified and better supported across the whole of the county.
Our Young Adult Carer Development worker Sam gave this feedback on the day:
“This was such a thought-provoking day, exploring and thinking about when the discussions and assessments of Young Carers transitions into adulthood and beyond should start and how this can be built on and reviewed. The message that services should ensure focus on the reduction of a young carers caring role was also extremely powerful, reminding us that it should be a choice, not be an expectation or demand that Young Carers will continue their caring role into adulthood”
November 7, 2023