On 22nd February 95 young carers and 45 professionals came together at our annual Young Carers Conference ‘Hear Us Shout!’. This is an annual event, organised and run by the Young Carers Council. It is a chance for young carers to tell educational, health and social care professionals what it is like being a young carer, and what they need from professionals. It is also a great way to meet other young carers, and have some fun.
In the morning young carers took part in a workshop – crafts & games for Under 8s, ‘All About Me’ art, creative writing, drama, music and creating a human computer game. The workshops encouraged young carers to explore and express how caring makes them feel and what they want professionals to know. They were also a lot of fun! They all then created something to ‘share’ with the professionals in the afternoon, including a live simulation of the computer game, short plays demonstrating situations young carers experience, a musical performance using junk percussion, and much much more.
Those that attended also added their thoughts to our graffiti wall. Comments on the graffiti wall included:
“Our voices need to be heard!”
“Please don’t prejudge us and think you know what is best.”
“Don’t feel sorry for us, just understand.”
“Have more sympathy, it’s difficult.”
The professionals that came were really impressed with the young carers, with lots saying that it was great to hear directly from young carers about what was important to them.
This was our biggest Young Carers Conference yet; thank you so much to the Young Carers Council for all their hard work planning and running the Conference. A big thank you to BBC Children in Need for funding it, and for Oaklands College for hosting.
Carers in Hertfordshire are looking to recruit additional Young Carer and adult volunteers for the Young Carers in Schools Ambassadors project.
These volunteers will be making a difference in their local schools by speaking up about what it’s like to care whilst being in education and how schools can do more to help. By helping raise awareness of Young Carers, more schools will have the correct knowledge and understanding of how to refer Young Carers in their setting.
As an Ambassador you might speak to Teachers/Governors/Staff members about Young Carers and how they can be better identified and supported in school, write letters to local education establishments or help deliver assemblies or attending school events – you will not be asked to do anything you do not feel confident doing and we are also very interested to hear how you feel you might be able to help outside of these roles!
If you would like further information, please contact Amy on 01992 586 969 or email email@example.com. There will be an opportunity to hear from some of our Schools Ambassadors at our Young Carers Conference on Thursday 21st February – if you are an adult interested in hearing more, please contact us about attending (RSVP is a must).
Carers Trust – Young Carers in Schools
It’s Young Carers Awareness Day on Thursday 31st January 2019 – a day to celebrate, recognise and raise awareness about young carers in the UK.
The focus this year is young carers’ mental health. The pressures of caring can lead to mental health problems, anxiety and stress and the Carers Trust, which oversees the Day, wants to improve awareness about the mental health support needs of young carers.
To tie in with the Day we want YOU to get involved and ‘Walk a mile in young carers’ shoes’ and think about what young carers’ lives are like, their priorities, feelings and experiences.
There are various ways you can get involved, including:
- Organising an activity such as a cake sale or a sponsored walk and donate the money to support our work with young carers. Walking can improve mental health as it releases endorphins that boost energy and mood; or
- Share information about young carers and the support available.
Figures from a recent NHS survey found that 13% of young carers had anxiety or depression compared to 8% of others their age without caring responsibilities. In addition, a Carers Trust survey of 350 young carers showed 48% felt stressed as a result of caring and 44% were tired.
Talking about how you’re feeling and your mental health can help you feel happy and healthy. We provide advice and support to young carers and their families to try and reduce the young person’s caring role. We also provide free activities to give young carers a break from caring and reduce isolation as they meet other young carers.
Whatever you do to mark Young Carers Awareness Day 2019, we would love to know. You can share tweets on January 31st @ycherts using the hashtag #YoungCarersAwarenessDay and you can also download and display our Walk a Mile poster with any activity you are holding.
For more information about the support we provide young carers in Hertfordshire please call us on 01992 58 69 69 or look around this website.
Please find more information below or click here to find out about the support for young carers in Hertfordshire.
Walk a mile poster: Poster – walk a mile
Young Carers factsheet: YC Factsheet
Waterways Experience have offered 3 Narrowboat weekends to Young Carers in Hertfordshire again in 2019. The boat departs from Nash Mills in Hemel Hempstead on the Grand Union Canal. There are 8 spaces on each trip. The 3 weekends are :
5th – 7th April : 8-10 years
10th – 12th May :11 – 14 years
5th – 7th July : 14 +
As these trips are being organised by Waterways Experience Carers in Hertfordshire cannot offer transport and will not be present, however there are volunteers from Waterways Experience present on all the trips.
We will need to pass on your contact details to Waterways Experience. By stating that you would like to attend you are giving consent for us to pass these details on. For further information on Waterways Experience see here – https://wexp.org.uk/
If your young carer would like to come please contact Carers in Hertfordshire with the name of the young carer, and which trip they would like to go on. Please could you also let us know the phone number and email address you would like us to pass on to Waterways Experience. All further communication about kit lists, times, consent forms etc will come from them. Please either phone in to Carers in Herts on 01992 586969 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In October half term 18 young carers age 13 – 17 came to our Young Carers Residential at Phasels Wood Scout Camp. Over 3 days and 2 nights the group took part in lots of different challenges, including: Aeroball, Air Rifle Shooting, Crate Stacking, Human Table Football and a very wet blindfolded team building activity.
The group also took part in Dragons Den, where they came up with ideas of activities or inventions that would support young carers and pitched these to a panel of Dragons! These ideas ranged from a website with a confidential chatroom for young carers, to a Caring Robot to take on some of responsibilities that young carers have day-to-day. One group even came up with the idea of a Caterpillar Rave – in which young carers could have a party in their sleeping bags!
The young carers met with staff from the CCG and gave them some ideas on how health services could be more young-carer friendly. This included things like an updated app, a 24-hour helpline for young carers and better training for GPs, teachers and other professionals.
Lolly, aged 14, said “The residential was a great opportunity to get away and meet people like myself. I met a few girls who I am still in contact with now. I had loads of fun and I would go again, 100%”.
Would you be interested in helping the Young Carers team with their Young Carers in Schools Ambassador Programme? We are looking for 15 Young Carer and 15 adult volunteers who want to make a difference in their local schools by speaking up about what it’s like to care whilst being in education and how schools can do more to help.
As an Ambassador you might be asked to speak to Teachers/Governors/Staff members about Young Carers and how they can be better identified and supported in school, writing letters to local education establishments, helping deliver assemblies or attending school events – you will not be asked to do anything you do not feel confident doing and we are also very interested to hear how you feel you might be able to help outside of these roles!
We are working with both adult and young carer volunteers to help empower them to make a difference in their local communities. We will be running an adults introductory session on Friday 19th October (10am – 12pm, Borehamwood office) and the Young Carers session on Saturday 27th October (10.30am – 12.30pm, Hatfield).
If you would like to book on to a training session, or you would like further information, please contact Amy on 01992 586 969 or email email@example.com.
Info from Carers Trust: YCiS is a partnership programme delivered by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society. It has been running for over four years now and we know that it has helped young carers to have a better experience at school. We also know from speaking with groups of young carers that they would like to do more to ensure other schools do more for young carers so we are working with local carers centres to develop a young carers ambassador programme.
Young Carers Residential: 13 – 18 year olds
Tuesday 30th October – Thursday 1st November 2018
Please apply by Friday 21st September for this residential. You can send applications back by post to Carers in Herts, 119 Fore Street, Hertford, Herts, SG14 1AX or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for the application form: October Residential application form
Please also send back an Annual Consent Form 2018 if we don’t have one on file.