Three young carers spent some of their half term holidays making sure that the social workers of the future are ‘young carer aware’. The three young people who delivered the training for the day are part of our Mosquito Mission group who go out to deliver young carer-led training for professionals. The name comes from the Dalai Lama quote ‘if you think you are too small to make a difference try sleeping with a mosquito in the room’.
We were excited to be invited back to the University of Gloucestershire to be guest lecturers for the 3rd year social work students during the week of half term. The young carers planned the session at our forum meeting the day before the lecture, deciding what to include and how to make sure the lecture was interactive and informative. They also decided what part of their own caring stories they were happy to share with the students.
The 3-hour lecture had a special focus on caring for those with ‘stigmatised conditions’ such as mental ill-health and substance misuse issues.
The evaluations from the students after the sessions really illustrate the impact it had.
It has made me aware that communication is key and that we need to actively listen to a young carers experience.
This session was amazing! I will remember what the girls said about how social workers should approach and treat young carers.
I will always consider the voice and viewpoint of the young person, ensuring I listen and give them time.
Individual real stories make the session very impactful and memorable supporting future practice.
It will give me a better insight into the challenges that young carers face and how I can help.
Some of the feedback to the Mosquito Mission guest lecturers:
Well done you should be so proud of yourself and the way that you’ve presented yourselves today. You say us social workers make an impact but I really think it’s YOU that’s making the changes to our practice. Thank you so much.
It was amazing to hear your stories, you truly are inspirational. Keep doing what you’re doing!
Absolutely loved today, you’re all so brave and full of positive spirits. Thank you for sharing your experiences and helping our learning!
One of the young carers who was doing this for the first time shared how before the lecture she felt ‘terrified’ but afterwards felt ‘ Absolutely incredible, biggest confidence boost and so proud that I had done it’.
November 9, 2023