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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com
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%”.
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.
Groundwork Hertfordshire is supporting the Welwyn/Hatfield Youth Council to organise a fun filled away day on Thursday 30 August for Young Carers. The event will provide an opportunity for the Welwyn Hatfield Youth Council and Young Carers to spend a day taking part in a range of activities including sports, art, dance, workshops and watching a movie. The event is completely free and lunch plus snacks will be provided throughout the day.
Please note that this event is not organised by Carers in Hertfordshire. Young Carers Staff will be in attendance on the day, but will not be taking responsibility for young carers or organising transport.
For further information – see letter here Letter to parents for young carers event
The organisers of this event need you to fill in this consent and media form too. WGC away day consent form
If you would like your child to attend on the day please email email@example.com or phone in on 01992 586969 by 1st August. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Come and join us at Hudnall Park for an Assault Course and Shelter Building.
Please ensure all young carers have an Annual Consent Form 2018. This can be posted to Carers in Herts, 119 Fore Street, Hertford, SG14 1AX or scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email us or phone us on 01992 586969 to book a place on the trip. Places will not be confirmed unless we have your consent form.
Carers in Herts will be running a 6 week ski course for young carers at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead on Wednesday afternoons in the Summer Holidays. Please contact us on 01992 586969 or by email to email@example.com to express an interest. We will contact those who have expressed an interest in the next couple of weeks to allocate spaces. In the event that too many young carers apply we will prioritise those who will be able to attend the full 6 weeks and who have not done any skiing with us before.
We will also be running Lawn Bowls in Hertford for Young Carers on Thursday mornings. We trialled this in half term and young carers said they really enjoyed it and wished it could have been longer. It was particularly good for young carers who are a little bit more anxious or worried about meeting large groups of people. It will be a small group of 8 for the whole 6 weeks on Thursday mornings. Please express your interest by email or phone as above for the skiing.
click here for the Application form – word version
Please also send back an Annual Consent Form 2018 if we don’t have one on file.