Young Carers

Being a young carer is hard because I don’t get a break from helping out and it tires me out, and I’ve just been really fed up lately – it is hard not being able to go outside because a lot of people are vulnerable.

The aim of this challenge is to make sure that we can help Young Carers when they need us most. They need recognition for the selfless work they are doing and support from their local organisations to help keep them in touch with friends and schools.

Young carers across Norfolk are facing a wide range of challenges due to Covid-19:

  • Some are falling behind with school/college work because they haven’t got access to the technology or internet that they need to keep up with studies;
  • Some young carers are having to walk for up to 2 miles just to get essentials from their nearest shop because they are worried about catching Covid-19 via public transport
  • Others are seeing their own physical and mental health being hugely affected because they can’t take a break or switch off from their caring roles.

It’s tough. With one parent (my cared for) self-isolating at home and one parent working for the NHS I am struggling to keep on top of things and my mental health is deteriorating.

And the young carers organisations across Norfolk are facing challenges of their own to ensure that they can provide the support to young carers when they need it most:

  • They are needing to purchase extra technology to allow them to provide virtual support for young carers
  • They are in need of resources to post out much-needed wellbeing packs to help support the mental health of young carers
  • They are having to work harder than ever to help young carers tackle the wide range of issues they are experiencing due to Covid-19 – through practical help, information and advice, and emotional support
A Recent Survey of young Carers delivered the following results:
StatementAgree / strongly agree
I feel more lonely/isolated79%
I am not able to take a break from caring57%
My mental health is being negatively affected75%
I feel more stressed71%
My caring role has increased58%
My/my child’s education is being negatively affected52%
I don’t feel able to cope with the current situation46%

Let the Young Carers speak for themselves. Here are some more quotes:

“My dad is in the vulnerable category. He can’t even go for a walk or go outside which is putting more pressure on me. I’m unable to go out for a walk as I would be putting my dad at risk of catching the virus. I’m not able to be with my friends or see them or my family. I’m not able to go to college and have that few hours of break and be with friends. I can’t go to any support groups as they are all closed because of this virus. My mental health has got worse and at times I am struggling. I’m just glad that my mum is able to help me when she isn’t looking after my nan.”

“It’s really hard as we literally can’t leave so online shops have been what we’re doing but it’s hard to get spaces and I’m trying to help and manage everyone and it’s not really working. We need time apart from each other for our own space and we’re not getting that.”

I care for my mum who has copd / asthma and other health problems – she cares for my stepdad so we are a team. Everyday brings new challenges especially with the covid- 19 not been able to go out side for a walk or break as they both have to stay in for 3 months – everyone is getting stressed but we cope.

“My Young Carers group have been there for me – they ring and text me to check up on me making sure I’m doing okay and if they can help with everything if I did not have them I would not know what I would do or who to talk to.”

“It’s hard being locked in house just me and family. The supermarket won’t let me in the shop with my mum and we can’t do anything fun outside. I normally use football as a timeout but I can’t do that now. My mum’s back really hurts and she is struggling to lift things again so I’m helping more around house and helping mum do her blood pressure and blood checks. I really miss my friends.”