Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and the government’s advice to avoid social contact we are having to re-think the ways in which we support young carers and their families. We appreciate that for many of you and your families the current situation and weeks/months ahead are going to be unsettling, worrying and very challenging. If you need to talk through this, or the impact it will have on your caring role, please do get in touch. Whilst we cannot meet in person Carers in Hertfordshire is still here for you, and for adult carers too.
Avoiding social contact unfortunately means that our upcoming activities have had to be cancelled or postponed. This includes activities in the Easter break and May half term, and we are contacting these families directly. We recognise that the situation is constantly changing, and we will do our best to keep you updated as we know more about activities and events beyond May half term.
Whilst this is a challenging time it gives us a new opportunity to work with young carers in a different way, and we are excited to be planning a range of virtual and online activities. This will help us to keep in touch with you, give you new ways of getting involved in our activities whilst helping you to keep busy at home. Please watch this space and visit www.ycih.org/activities-for-young-carers for updates. We will also be publishing a list of other resources and top tips for this time.
Although we are unable to complete home visits throughout this period we will continue to reach out to families using a variety of technology, including telephone calls, Zoom and Whatsapp. If we are video-calling young carers it is important that a parent is aware of this and present in the house at the time of the call. We will call familiest to arrange a mutually convenient time.
We will update this page with new information and any changes to our service to keep you informed. We hope you and your families stay safe and well.
Young Carers Awareness Day 2020
This Young Carers Awareness Day (Thursday 30th January 2020) we’re hoping to reach out to young carers and those who support them, such as school and college staff, to let them know “You are not alone”. We want to highlight the services available to help ease their caring role.
Young Carers Awareness Day celebrates, recognizes, and raises awareness about young carers in the UK. The focus this year is getting school and compulsory education providers to do more to identify and support young carers – people under 19 providing unpaid care to a relative or someone who is ill, disabled, elderly, or misuses drugs or alcohol.
To tie in with the theme and the Carers Trust’s Count Me In campaign, we are holding a training and network event for staff from Hertfordshire schools to learn about our services and also how they can be involved in the Carers Trust Young Carers in Schools Ambassadors Project that we are part of.
We are also launching the first items of our updated publicity material – a poster and postcard – which young carers helped produce, with input from Hertfordshire County Council, which commissions us to support young carers.
The key message on them, which young carers identified is telling young carers “you are not alone.” The poster and postcard contain our contact details and information about how we support young people in a caring role such as providing activities so they can meet other young cares and have a break from caring, a discount card to save money when shopping or out and opportunities to have their say about health and other services.
The poster and postcards can be viewed or downloaded at http://ycih.org/information-for-professionals/ and
As part of the day we have also asked young carers accessing our services who their biggest supporter is. Most responses were a parent or parents, Nan or sibling, with Mum being the most popular. Other supporters included teachers, a social worker, and even books and music. Here are some of the reasons:
- “My Mum is my biggest supporter as she is encouraging and enthusiastic.”
- Grace said: “My form tutor is my best supporter because whenever I am having a bad day she asks if I’m okay or if I need to step out of the classroom for a minute. She is helpful, if I tell her something I’m struggling with she will tell my other teachers for that day, which means I don’t have to explain it to every teacher.”
Laura Green, one of the Young Carers Service Team Leaders, said: “Through our work and events such as Young Carers Awareness Day we hope to let young carers know about the help on offer to them, to show they are not alone in their caring role. We also want to improve peoples’ understanding of young carers and the impact that caring can have upon a child or young person. Providing the right support and information to young carers can help them feel physically and mentally well.”
Currently, there are 1,975 young carers in Hertfordshire or elsewhere that support someone in the county registered with us. Last year we provided one to one support to 340 young carers and their families and for about half of them our involvement helped reduce their caring role.
You can help us make a positive difference to the lives of adult and child carers by volunteering or supporting us through fundraising, such as making a donation online via https://localgiving.org/charity/carersinherts/
Whatever you do to mark Young Carers Awareness Day 2020, we would love to know or you can tell us about who your biggest supporter is. You can share tweets @ycherts using the hashtag #YoungCarersAwarenessDay or email email@example.com
For more information about the support we provide young carers in Hertfordshire please call us on 01992 58 69 69 or look around the website.
My Biggest Supporter
This year we want to celebrate all of the people who support young carers! We’ve asked young carers “Who is your biggest supporter?” and a HUGE shout out goes to…
By far the most responses came back about the support Mum’s give their children:
- I love her
- She is my best friend
- Being kind
“She helps me to enjoy my life in the best way possible”
- She does everything for me whilst suffering herself
- No matter what, she always supports me
- She has been there forever
- She lets me help with my sister
- She helps me the most out of all the people I know
- She is really nice and helps me with school
- She is always there
- She is very encouraging and enthusiastic
- She looks after me and my brother
- She’s super grateful for everything I do
‘Parents’ also came back as big supporters of our young carers:
- They help me through everything
- They are always there for me
“They always tell me how much they appreciate me and all that I do”
They make sure that I do the things that make me happy
- They make sure I do loads of good clubs
Other family members:
“My Dad: he has kept no secrets and helps me when I am worried”
- My 3 sisters: they help me through a lot of stress
- My Nanny: she looks after me all the time and is kind to me
- My sister Violet: she is kind
“My sister: she pushes me to do things I’m scared of”
My Nan: she is always there no matter what
It is brilliant to see some school staff providing valuable support to young carers in Hertfordshire:
Mrs Dada: she helps me when I’m having a bad day
Miss Craddock: she helps me learn
Mrs Sharpling: she helps me every day at school
Miss Boswell at Monks Walk:
“She always asks if I’m OK and I like that”
“She always makes sure I am OK”
Miss Tebbut: She always makes me feel better if I am sad or worried about my sister’s illness
Other supporters of young carers:
Emily: she takes me out for treats
Jamie W: He supported me if I was stressed with caring for my family
Debevah M: She is kind
My Social Worker
“Books and music: No matter how stressful or crazy anything is I can always lose myself in them”
My friend Lucie: she is always there for me, no matter what
Thank you to all of the young carers who told us their biggest supporter, and HUGE THANK YOU to the people above (and many more) who continue to support young carers and help young carers know that they are not alone.
Young Carers Publicity
Today is Young Carers Awareness Day and we are excited to launch our new publicity for Carers in Hertfordshire’s Young Carers’ Service. The publicity has been co-produced and designed with young carers, at our summer residential trips and with the Young Carers Council.
You Are Not Alone was an important theme that young carers wanted to be central to the publicity; letting other young carers that there is support out there and that they are not on their own with their experiences.
The new publicity includes:
A poster that can be displayed in schools, GP surgeries, hospitals and other settings
A flyer with more detailed information in about the support we offer young carers and their families
A postcard that can be given out to young carers
You can download our poster and postcard here.
You can hear young carers views on our two new films:
‘Support from Carers in Hertfordshire’ click here
‘Telling Schools I’m a Young Carer’ click here
Thanks to all the young carers who took part in the filming of these, and to Herts Community Trust for filming.
We will be launching our new flyer soon – watch this space!
Young Carers Conference 2020
Once Upon a Time…
It’s that time of year again! We have our annual Young Carers Conference on Thursday 20th February. This year the theme is ‘Once Upon a Time…’.
Please note that spaces are limited so please do apply as soon as you can. Applications cannot be accepted until we have an Annual Consent Form 2020 for you. This can be downloaded below.
Invite: Invite for YCs
Annual consent form: Annual Consent Form 2020
Creative Collaging Session age 12 – 16
As part of Hertfordshire’s ‘Feeling Good Week’ we would like to invite you to…
Come along to:
Explore what makes you YOU
Explore what you wish for in the future
Meet other young carers
When: Friday 14th February, 4 – 6.30 pm
Where: Hatfield. Transport can be provided if you need it.
Who: young carers aged 12 – 16
Please let us know if you would like to book a space:
Telephone 01992 586969
Please note an 2020 Annual Consent Form must be completed to book on to this event: Annual Consent Form 2020
Flyer: Flyer – Creative Collaging
Healthwatch Hertfordshire Needs You!
Do you care for someone who has a mental health condition?
Want to give feedback on the mental health services?
Healthwatch Hertfordshire would LOVE to hear from you.
Have your voice heard!
If you would like to get involved or to find out more, please contact Chloe on: 01707 275 978 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by the 24th of January.
Flyer: Healthwatch Hertfordshire