The Isle of Wight Council is teaming up with a range of partners to support Island young people for Young Carer Action Day today (Tuesday 16th March).
The council has linked up with commissioned partners YMCA to promote the day and to also support Wightlink and The Getaway Foundation to provide free travel and much needed holidays for 5 families this year.
Young Carer Action Day is an annual event by The Young Carers Trust raising awareness of some of the challenges young carers face in their day-to-day lives, and the incredible contribution they make to their families and local communities. This year’s theme is ‘protect young carers’ futures’.
Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said:
“Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had an effect on all our day-to-day lives but for young carers, lockdowns and closure of services means very often, they are caring for loved ones for much longer periods.
“A recent survey by The Young Carers Trust found as much as one in six (16 per cent) reported that this has meant caring for an additional 40 hours or more per week.
“However, feedback from The Young Carers Trust has shown that young people are keen to use the action day to show the important skills they have gained for the future through caring that are highly sought after in the workplace and helpful in higher education, such as resilience, time-management and empathy.
“It is also great news that five young carer families on the Island will be benefitting from a much-needed break this year, provided by Wightlink and The Getaway Foundation Charity. We hope this can be expanded further in the future to help more families on the Island.”
Locally, the YMCA provides a council-commissioned support service for 300 young carers across the Island, aged 5 to 18 years old.
The YMCA Young Carers project will be working with young carers to complete Carers Trust Action ‘Skills Cards’ to use over social media today to raise awareness and celebrate the additional skills that being a young carer has given them.
Trudie Augustus-Harris, YMCA Young Carers Support Service co-ordinator, said:
“Young carers often put aside their own needs so they can provide support and care for someone close to them.
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“The Young Carers Support Service is proud to help these incredible young people navigate their way through this important stage in their lives, with a view to a happy and positive future.”
Wightlink chief executive, Keith Greenfield, said:
“The roles and responsibilities undertaken by young carers should never be underestimated and Wightlink is delighted to support them through an established and ongoing partnership with YMCA Young Carers.
“We are really pleased to extend that support by teaming up to help ensure these local families get a much-needed break. We look forward to welcoming them aboard and hope they have a marvellous holiday.”
You can contact the YMCA Young Carers Project on 01983 861071 or by emailing [email protected].