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Young Carers

A young carer is someone who looks after another person. Caring for someone might involve things you do every day like cooking and cleaning or helping them with their medication. Or you might have to do much more if your family member can't do some things themselves.

More information about young carers

A young carer might look after someone because they're sick or because they have a disability or mental health issues. Or, if a parent or family member has an alcohol or drug problem, they may be unable to care for themselves or anyone else, so a young carer might help look after their siblings, for example.

Some young people aren't sure if they can actually call themselves a 'young carer'. But even if you aren't the only one who is doing the looking after, you can be considered a young carer. Especially if you're doing a lot more than just helping out occasionally and it takes up a lot of your time.

Being a young carer can be difficult and may cause you to feel anxious, sad, isolated or even depressed. There are lots of reasons why you might be finding things hard if you are a young carer.

Things you may be worried about

  • the health of the person you care for
  • your schoolwork or exams

  • money, finding a job or your future

  • not being able to meet and go out with friends

  • feeling like you don't have any other choice

  • being emotionally abused by the family member you are caring for

  • having to look after brothers or sisters

It’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are more than 166,000 young carers aged 5-17 in the UK*. If you are struggling to cope, click here for help.


*Childrenssociety.org.uk
 

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Useful books

Useful apps

HeadSpace is a personal guide to health and happiness. Designed to help you focus, breathe, stay calm, perform at your best, and get a better night’s rest through the life-changing skills of relaxation, meditation and mindfulness

Calm is an app for meditation and sleep. Designed to help lower stress, lessen anxiety, and assist in a more restful sleep with guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, masterclasses and relaxing music

7 cups is a free anonymous emotional support and counselling from trained active listeners.

SAM – Self-help for Anxiety Management is an app that offers a range of self-help methods for people who are serious about learning to manage their anxiety

Self-help materials

  • The Children’s Society works with children and young people and has lots of advice and resources for young carers on its website. You can live chat with the Supporter Care Team who are there to help from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday.

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Useful videos

Watch videos in our young carers playlist on our YouTube channel.

Games

However you're feeling, it can be great to express yourself and do things you enjoy. Take your mind off things with games, finding new ways to handle your emotions.

Get more support

 

Carers Trust - work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

Carers UK - give carers expert advice, information and support. We campaign and innovate to find better ways to reach and support carers.

Childline - Information and advice.

Kooth - Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people, accredited counsellors for mental health needs.

Mind - Mental health charity providing support and guidance.

Royal College of Psychiatrists - Mental health support for young children.

Samaritans - Mental health charity providing support and guidance to all.

The Mix - Online group chat/discussion boards supporting children and young people with a variety of mental health issues.

Young Minds - UK charity fighting for children and young people's mental health.

Youth Access - Advice and counselling network.

Lancashire Young Carers - delivered by Barnardos, provides bespoke support, based on individual needs.

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