Young carers share their stories

Recent research from Action for Children found that young carers average £12,000 of unpaid work a year.

The survey of 383 young carers aged between 7 and 18 found that the care they provide to loved ones equates to around £240 a week. These unpaid carers spend an average of 25 hours a week carrying out caring responsibilities, and on a part-time carer’s wage, this work would equate to £12,000.

These children care for their loved ones on top of their school day, and are also often ‘on call’ overnight. Action for Children calls for essential young carer respite services to be available to all those in this hidden child workforce, to give them the practical and emotional support they need.

CACHE supports this call for the government to ensure that suitable services are accessible to young carers as they can be an important lifeline for those in need. The Department for Education states that young carers should be protected from excessive caring responsibilities.

Newcastle Carers is an independent charity supporting adults, children and young people who care for someone living in Newcastle upon Tyne. In early 2020 they held an event at the Station Hotel in Newcastle where young adult carers shared their stories and lived experiences from growing up as a carer, as well as discussing how they were identified as carers by school, doctors or other professionals. 

Lots of carers, especially those who are young carers or young adult carers don’t receive support. Caring is just ‘what they do’ and they often don’t know about the support available (or how to access it) until they’re identified as having caring responsibilities.

In a series of podcasts for Pod-CACHE, we share some of the stories of these amazing young carers, highlighting the issues they had with homework, being late for school, missing out on a social life and the difficulties they may have faced financially and emotionally.

You can listen to Pod-CACHE on PodBean, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

To find more information about for support for young carers, please visit the Action for Children website.