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!

Young Carers at the heart of GYC conference on Young Carers Action Day 2022

On the afternoon of the 16th March 19 young carers aged between 10 and 21 years old, from across Gloucestershire, joined the GYC team to share their thoughts, feelings, ideas and experiences with 50 delegates in our first ever online Twilight Conference. Professionals from educational settings, health, social care and funders joined us virtually to hear first-hand from young carers as we channelled this year’s theme – ‘Taking Action on Isolation’.

Delegates listened to presentations from the team with spotlights on our different services, watched a powerful film documenting our 2-year pandemic journey at GYC and then were able to attend a choice of 5 interactive workshops cocreated with young carers.

These covered subjects such as support in education, the isolation of being a young adult carer, why sibling carers matter, and experiences of caring for someone with mental ill-health and substance misuse.  Feedback from delegates was very positive:

‘It was good to hear from Young Carers and what they need from us’

‘Really gave me an insight into the challenges faced by young carers transitioning into adult life’.

‘Great information clearly presented as to why sibling young carers matter too’

‘It was very informative and has already got me thinking about how we can improve support for young carers’

‘Well put together and the young people were fantastic!’

‘Brilliantly done using the best tools you could virtually’

GYC Operations Manager Ele Semadeni said “We would like to thank all the young carers who took part in GYC’s first online conference for their inspiring workshops sharing how professionals can best support them. A huge well done and thank you to the GYC team for all their hard work making this important event happen on Young Carers Action Day 2022.”

We would like to thank Mary Hutton, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Accountable Officer, for allowing young carers to use the fantastic facilities at Sanger House to safely come together to deliver GYC’s conference.

Fun at the farm for the yCHIPs forum

Young carers attending our residential weekend at Cirencester last month were lucky to be blessed by the unusually warm and sunny spring weather. Those who took part all belong to the yCHIPs forum which stands for ‘Young Carers Helping Inform Professionals’.

The objective of the weekend was to make a short film that will be shown as part of training for different professionals so that they understand the needs of young carers and how to identify and listen to them.

However – there was plenty of time for fun, relaxation and farm activities. This included pizza making, meeting the horses, wood chopping, rambling around the farm and a mega games and bingo session on Saturday night.

Lucy Wilcox , Youth Participation officer describes how ‘It was great to see the young people relax together on the farm, they all got on well, supported each other and were really open to the activities on offer.  Going away for a weekend gives them a real chance to have a break from their caring roles and the chance to have some exciting new experiences’.

‘We are hoping the film that we have made together will make a big impact when used as part of training for professionals to make sure they are young carer aware’

Volunteer Collection Tin Coordinators required

Would you like to help us raise money and the profile of GYC in your local community at a time to suit you? We have just the volunteer role for you.

Now that Covid-19 restrictions have lifted and the world opens up again, we are looking for friendly and reliable people who are happy to use their local knowledge by getting out into their local community talking to local shops, pubs and businesses about having one of our branded collection tin on their counters or tills.

As a Volunteer Collection Tin Coordinator you will be helping us to increase the profile of Gloucestershire Young Carers, and at the same time assisting us to raise funds enabling us to continue our vital work with the young carers we support.

This role is perfect for those who are looking for flexibility as you can give as much time as you want.  You can take on as many tins you feel you can manage.  It will give you the opportunity to meet new people, gain knowledge of your local area and you will get the chance to develop your skills whilst feeling great for fundraising for our charity.

We will ensure you are supported and will be on hand to help guide you so you can make the most of your time.

If you would like to find out more about this flexible volunteer role please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Sue – sue@glosyoungcarers.org.uk

Are you a thrill-seeker looking to take on a challenge and raise money for Gloucestershire Young Carers in 2022? We have just the thing with our 3 skydiving days this year!

Book an exhilarating skydive today – freefall from 10,000 feet reaching speeds of up to 125mph before the parachute opens and you gently glide back down to earth. It will be an experience you’ll never forget! Jordan Davis, Store Manager at Midcounties Cinderford took to the skies for GYC last year “Skydiving for Gloucestershire Young Carers was such an amazing experience! Not just for the crazy adrenaline rush but to raise so much money for such a wonderful charity. It was such a rewarding experience that I would recommend everyone trying!”

Join #TeamGYC for our group skydives on either 24 April, 19 June or 18 September.  There are 10 spaces available on each date and we expect it to be very popular so don’t delay in booking if you are interested. You will arrive at the Salisbury jump site and meet others taking on the charity skydive for our charity or why not jump as part of a team with colleagues or friends. We will support you on the day to help steady any nerves and celebrate your bravery. What are you waiting for!

New charity of the year partnership with Alexander Burn Funeral Directors.

After many years of in kind support to GYC, we are delighted to announce the exciting news that we have now begun an official charity of the year partnership with Alexander Burn Funeral Directors for 2022. Alexander Burn is an independent family run firm of funeral directors with Funeral Homes in Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe and is owned by Alex Burn.

The partnership will strengthen our relationship and enable the 30 strong team at Alexander Burn to really get involved and feel part of the charity and our work with and for young carers. The team are looking forward to getting involved on a practical level and have already provided craft items for a sibling carer activity day, sponsorship of our Young Adult Carers careers event and offers of help with transport and time through volunteering.

‘We are excited and honoured to partner with Gloucestershire Young Carers this year as an official sponsor. The work they do is invaluable to the young carers in our local community and we are delighted to be able to continue supporting them in a more official capacity’’ Alex Burn.

We are really looking forward to a fantastic year of working together and providing more opportunities for everyone to get involved. Huge thanks to Alex and the team for helping to support the young in young carer.

If your company would like to partner with GYC as charity of the year please get in contact with Sally Gillespie, Fundraising and Marketing manager today by emailing sally@glosyoungcarers.org.uk or DM us on socials.