Local charity sees significant growth in young carers
Data from the latest School Census has revealed a worrying under-representation of young carers, not only in Bath and North East Somerset but across England with a huge 79% of schools recording no young carers at all.
The School Census aims to develop a picture of the educational sector, and where improvements are needed. This year, for the first time, young carers were included in this picture.
Independent charity, The Carers’ Centre, has seen significant growth in young carers, who help care for a family member or friend due to serious illness, disability or addiction. With over 700 young carers currently registered with the charity, this is significantly different to the 136 young carers that were identified in Bath and North East Somerset schools through the census. The charity is asking for donations to expand their life-changing work with young carers in school.
CEO of The Carers’ Centre, Jacqui Orchard said:
“These latest figures demonstrate a huge under-representation of the growing number of young carers that we are seeing at The Carers’ Centre. Over the last few years, the demand for our young carer service alone has increased by over 30%.”
"Caring for a loved one is a demanding role, especially for a child. Their extra responsibilities can impact their concentration at school, as well as their attendance. Resulting in feelings of being overwhelmed, under pressure and isolation. When this is compounded by the fact that they are not even recognised for the role they play, as evidenced in the school census, this can make things so much worse.”
The charity reported the following findings concerning young carers that had joined the service over the last year:
- Over 70% had their wellbeing affected by their caring role.
- Over 60% had their social time affected by their caring role.
- Almost a third (29%) had their education affected by their caring role.
A young carer said:
“Some days I don’t want to go in to school at all because I am worried about whether they [the person they care for] will be ok without me.”
Jacqui Orchard continued:
“We want to help teachers and educational professionals to be able to identify every young carer at their school, at the earliest opportunity to ensure they get the help and support they need.”
“To achieve this, we’re asking our supporters and our local community in Bath and North East Somerset to help us raise vital funds to improve the lives of our young carers. By donating to our charity, you are helping us provide life-changing sessions in schools, where they will learn crucial skills and coping mechanisms, as well as peer support.”
A volunteer for The Carers’ Centre who attended a school wellbeing session said:
“I feel like the session brought the young people together in a safe space. It was great to see how their confidence developed over the course of the activities.”
As well as delivering these vital sessions for young carers, The Carers’ Centre will also be holding essential training for teachers in the area through a dedicated conference in September. The Carers’ Centre hopes that this additional work will ensure more young carers are recognised in the next school census and can receive the support they need to thrive.
To donate to the charity’s vital work, please visit: banescarerscentre.org.uk/donate