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.