York Charity Reacts to Plight of Young Carers
12:38pm 17th May 2013
New census data shows a 14% increase in the number of young carers in Yorkshire and the Humber, illustrating just how much young carers do for society.
But caring can have a real impact on young people’s lives, affecting their physical and emotional wellbeing and preventing them from fulfilling their potential. Over a quarter of young carers miss school or experience educational difficulties, making them more than twice as likely to be out of education, employment or training.
York Carers Centre work with more than 120 young carers in York, providing tailored emotional and practical assistance to protect young people from caring roles that have a negative impact on their health and ability to have the same opportunities as their peers. Many more young carers will not be represented in these figures as they do not identify themselves as carers, even though they have caring roles.
The number of adult carers over 25 in the UK has increased by 10% since 2001. Carers are estimated to save the country more than £119 billion per year, yet many feel unsupported and reach crisis point, highlighting the importance of this issue for our society.
York Carers Centre work with more than 2000 carers in York providing information, advice and support.
Carole Zagrovic, York Carers Centre Manager, says “This increase in the number of carers, young carers and young adult carers highlights why it is so important that services like ours are available to support carers now and into the future. Schools, doctors, and everyone in a position to identify young people and adults in caring roles need to make it their business to ensure they get the support they need. Timely and preventative support that invests in the emotional and physical wellbeing of carers is a must”
York Carers Centre is a Network Partner of Carers Trust, who have called on the government to recognise the needs of young carers, using the legislation recently announced in the Queen’s Speech. However, the Government has not yet acted to reform the law for young carers and a historic opportunity to improve young carers lives will be missed unless changes are made to both the Children and Families Bill and Care Bill.
Dr Moira Fraser, Director of Policy and Research at Carers Trust, said: “The Government must act now to ensure that children who are young carers are protected and supported by legislation, so that there are clear duties for supporting young carers and their families across adult and children’s social care.”
Its work to address the hidden issue of caring has seen Carers Trust secure its first ever Charity of the Year partnership. Its year-long relationship with The Co-operative is not only raising vital money but, with more than 7 million members and operations in every UK postal area, its work with The Co-operative will deliver a real change in public awareness.
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