The sun is still here but the summer is ending … so let’s find out who won the August YC competition!
We had some sun, some rain and ups & downs all summer long in 2020! Some people stayed home, some went away. Some people longed for school, some worried about it. Across all of that we had another round of our Young carers competition asking about your summer, what it means to you and what you did. We are delighted to say competition was so fierce the judging panel chose not a single one but JOINT winners! They couldn’t choose and did the unthinkable … chose two! Below we are very humbled to share the joint winners and our fantastic runner ups entries for all to see and thanks again to everyone who entered!
Written by Jay, age 10. One of our joint winners:
Summer means to me playing in the garden, more summer evenings in the park, my family watching me play football and of course my birthday!
During the summer we go swimming, have a caravan holiday, have yummy BBQs and plenty of ice creams!
In the past I have had sleepovers with my friends, had my swimming pool out in the garden and lots of trips to the park In the summer we always go to the seaside, go strawberry picking and have a party for my birthday!
My best treats are ice cream, Slush puppies milkshakes and BBQ’s!
My dream summer would be to go the beach, have my family round and splash around in the paddling pool with my sister holly and BBQ for tea.
Written by Eric, age 13, My Summer. Also joint winner:
I love summer, it makes me feel energized to the brim,
With the bright sun shining and the children playing,
From eating ice cream or having a swim.
I went to Durdle Door a couple of days ago,
It was the best beach I’ve ever been to.
As different shades of blue ran through the sea,
The waves splashed about and the rock’s flowed away,
Everyone was very happy and excited,
They all reminded me of a lustrous rainbow.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple.
Everywhere I looked I saw pictures get taken with big smiles on their faces,
With the beautiful cliffs hanging over us in all different directions,
North, east, south west,
You name it.
The summer treats were amazing,
From drinking fizzy drinks to having an ice cream,
Or going onto a cruise to different destinations.
Summer treats always turn your day around,
Like eating an ice cool watermelon or a delicious cheesecake.
They really are special,
But that’s what I like about summer,
You get to eat and do things you normally wouldn’t.
A dream to the La Concha beach,
Where I would spend my dream summer,
The roasting hot sun tanning everyone on sight,
The waves crashing onto land,
While the children get wet and cold,
And I lay on my luxurious beach chair,
Helping myself to an iced cold lemonade and a juicy watermelon,
I would spend my day at the beach,
And in the night, I would relax in my summer house.
Big thanks to our runner up – Sarah, aged 10 (and a happy summer birthday to you!)
Summer meant it is my birthday and I turn 11 and that is what summer means to me. In my free time I have nothing to do so I watch my I pad I don’t really have a favourite treat so I eat what teat my brother gets but my favourite drink is flavour water. We don’t have any family traditions my dream summer would be to have a big have a big swimming pool in our garden. In the past we have been going to the park.
September’s coming to you next …
It’s August so that means a new competition for you to take part in!
We have had such a wonderful time with these that we are keeping them going through the summer and this month it is all about “Your Summer”
So we would love to hear from you about:
- What does summer mean to you?
- What kind of things do you do during the summer?
- What things have you done in the past?
- Any traditions you have for summer time?
- What are some of the best summer treats out there?
- Any ideas of what your dream summer would be?
Prizes are up for grabs to the winner and runner up as well as thank you’s for everyone who takes part! Draw, write, photograph, whatever works for you!
The deadline for your entries is Friday 21st August with the winning entries being announced the following week.
Please email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org – put “Competition” in the subject then in the email make sure to put your name and age so we know which ones belong to who.
To check our previous months winners and runner up please click here
Have fun and we look forward to hearing about Your Summer
“Young Carers Champion” was the name of July’s competition
We teamed up with Lister Hospital and the Amwell Rotary club and asked Young Carers to design a badge. Lister will be training up some of their staff to be ‘Young Carers Champions’ so that they understand some of the things young carers have to deal with and can offer support when you are visiting their hospital as well as spread the word of young carers everywhere they go. So we asked you to design this badge and here are your winners …
The winner – Hollie, age 9
Our runner up – Alexis, age 8
Huge thank you’s to everyone who got involved in this months competition! We had lots of amazing entries and it was a very difficult one to judge. Big thanks as well to Lister for creating this competition and the Amwell Rotary club for funding it alongside them.
We will be bringing you August’s competition next week so keep your eyes peeled and get involved!
Get Active this Summer!
Young carers living in St Albans and Dacorum:
We wanted to let you know about an exciting opportunity for you to get your hands on some FREE sports equipment for you to use at home!
Whilst we are not able to run our usual summer activities due to COVID-19, we want to make sure you have activities you can do at home during the summer holidays. We have been lucky that Herts Sports Partnership and Families First are providing us with lots of sports equipment that we can give to young carers age under 14, in St Albans and Dacorum.
Each pack contains a range of balls, skipping ropes, other items like balloons and chalk, and a hula hoop! It comes in a drawstring bag, and also has a list of different activities and games for you to enjoy.
If you would like to reserve a sports pack, then please let us know by Wednesday 15th July. We will we dropping the packs off at your home the week beginning 20th July.
Deadline extension: Friday 24th July
We are excited to announce our NEW young carer competition ‘Young Carer Champions’!
For July’s competition we are teaming up with Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Lister will be training up some of their staff to be ‘Young Carer Champions’ – so staff understand about being a young carer, and will be able to support you when you are visiting. When they complete their training they will get a YC Champion Badge to wear – and this is where we need YOUR help!
Task: Create a design for the YC Champion badge
It needs to:
- Stand out!
- Be something that you would like to see on staff
- Be something that will work when it is on a badge (e.g. not too big!)
Your entry could be hand drawn, animated or whatever else you choose!
Because this is a joint project with Lister the prize for the design selected will be £40! The prize for the runner up will be £10. Thank you to both East and North Herts Hospital Trust, and Amwell Rotary Club for funding this.
Deadline: The deadline for entries is Friday 24th July 5pm. Please email entries to email@example.com with the subject heading ‘YC Competition’. Please include your name and age in the email.
The designs will be judged by a panel of young carers, as well as staff from Carers in Herts and Lister Hospital.
Please note: the winning entry will be the design used for the YC Champion badges, which are being funded by the Hospital Charity. A photo of the design will be taken for East and North Herts Hospital Trust internal and external communications, as well as Carers in Hertfordshire’s. You don’t have to be in the photo, unless you want to be!
‘What I am grateful for’
We’re excited to share the first and second place entries for June’s Young Carers Competition. Young carers were asked to share ‘what I am grateful for during lockdown’, in whatever way they liked – a poem, picture, film, photo, or something else they had created.
First Place: Eric, age 13
Second Place: Jennifer, age 10
Carers Week Competition:
We’re delighted to announce the first and second place entries for a special Carers Week Competition here
May: What I can see from my window
First Place: Ava, age 9
Out of my window I can see…
Green trees blowing in the wind
A summer house for me and Ivy
Ready for lunch, lets eat outside
Dragonflys flying through the sky
even when we say goodbye
Next time is another day, then we will have time to play
Second place: ‘Outside my Window’ by Eric, age 13
As the sun shines on all our faces,
Waking us up each morning,
The cars wait to be driven
But they find themselves alone,
The smiles of the children’s faces makes us want to get out,
But as Corona made its way,
We start to stay away,
From all dangers that could possibly harm us,
But as lockdown is soon ending,
Bringing happiness and hope to people’s faces.
When the warm sun get cooler,
We start to get colder.
From trees swaying side to side,
Following the gentle cold breeze,
As the sun starts setting,
Our frustration shrinks,
The later the day arrives,
The more we feel tired.
When the sky gets dark,
And the stars appear,
The moon will rise with it’s attracting light,
The trees are now still as a bone,
While we tuck into our warm beds,
Outside my window,
There is nothing but cars.
We would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who took part – we were blown away by entries, and the panel had a difficult time deciding!
Details on June’s competition here
April: experiences of lockdown
First Place: ‘Shielding’ by Freya, age 9
My little sister got a letter saying she must shield,
No going to the park or taking the dog to the field.
I couldn’t go to school or do my sports club,
No more going for lunch in the pub.
Feels strange that I can’t go to school,
No going on holiday and laying by the pool.
Spending more time with my family will be fun,
Playing in the garden and laying in the sun.
Learning to grow fruit and veg from a seed,
we will have all the healthy food that we need.
Thanks to the NHS who are helping the sick,
Stay home everyone so this will end quick.
Second Place: ‘My Wish’ by Izzy, age 6
It’s Competition Time again! June 2020
After a brilliant round of April and May entries, we’re excited to ask you to share “what I’m grateful for”. This could be:
- A picture you have drawn
- A photo you have taken (with a caption)
- Pictures of stuff you have created (with a caption)
- A story / poem / piece of writing
- Anything else inspired by the theme
There are prizes to be won … £20 voucher for 1st Place and £10 for 2nd!
The deadline for entry is Friday 19th June 5pm Winning entries to be announced the following week!
Please email your entries to young.carers@Carersinherts.org.uk . Please put ‘competition’ in the subject, and include your name and age in the email.
You can check out previous months winners and runner ups here
We know that the coming weeks will be a challenge for a lot of us; spending more time at home and away from others. Whether we are social distancing, in self-isolation or shielding, below are some resources to help keep us busy, healthy and feeling good.
We will continue to update this, so please do share with us any suggestions you may have.
Mental health and wellbeing
- Tips for parents of anxious young carers when talking about Coronavirus
- Young Minds resources & ideas about things adults and young people can do to manage stress & anxiety they may experience in relation to coronavirus:
They also have a mental health advice line available for parents operating between
09:30am-4pm, Monday- Friday: 0808 802 5544
- Young Minds link on how to look after your mental health when self-isolating:
- Joe Wicks ‘The Body Coach’ live P.E lesson every day 9 a.m on YouTube. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
- Herts Sports Partnership have a great list of different ways to get the whole family moving. Follow the link and scroll down, includes Kids Yoga, Disney Dance-Along and Premier League Primary Stars: https://sportinherts.org.uk/coronavirus/#
- Online Safety guides for parents of primary and secondary aged children: https://thinkuknow.co.uk/professionals/our-views/parents-helpsheets/
- ‘Scouts: The Great Indoors’: Includes activities for age 6 – 14 year olds
- E-books: Audible are providing all children’s books for free
- Travel the world’s museums from your sofa:
- Science experiments, Key Stage 1 – Key Stage 4:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.