YSS marks Young Carers Awareness Day To mark Young Carers Awareness Day, which took place on Thursday 31 January, YSS keyworkers took part in a range of activities to raise awareness of Worcestershire Young Carers, a service delivered by independent charity YSS (Your Support Service) that supports more than 450 young carers in the county every year. As the theme for this year’s awareness day focused on mental health and wellbeing, keyworker Vicky Parker and support worker Lacey Moody delivered a laughing yoga session to 30 young people at the South Worcester Young Carers club, as well as delivering activities surrounding sleep advice and how to lessen anxiety and stress. Vicky commented: “It was fantastic to deliver tailored activities to our young people. They had fun and fully embraced the laughing yoga, which did exactly what it said on the tin!”Vicky and Senior Project Coordinator Jon Cawdron also met with 10 year old Demi Lou, a young carer nominated by the Participation Group to be the first Worcestershire Young Carers Newsletter Guest Editor. Jon said: “Demi had some fantastic ideas about how her newsletter can be used to support mental health – she was really keen that this was the focus. At Worcestershire Young Carers we are really keen to help young carers get their voices heard, so it’s great to have Demi on board, and brilliant that the newsletter will be directly informed by the young people it serves.” Staff also used the national awareness day as an opportunity to raise awareness on social media, sharing feedback from some of the young carers receiving support from the service: “Some things you will get used to, some things you never will. I feel I can talk to someone at Worcestershire Young Carers club as I know I’m in a safe environment and no one will judge”. Young carer, Ben “Being a young carer changes who you are for the better and encourages you to keep the change lasting but the negatives include being anxious and lack of free time. The 1:1 sessions at Worcestershire Young Carers help relieve the agonising voice inside my head”. Young carer, Shakira “I get bullied because I care for my mum. It gets frustrating as they don’t know what I have to go through, as it’s not just looking after mum but my sisters as well. They think I have everything easy”. Young carer, Dakota Lorraine Preece, Chief Executive at YSS, said: “In Worcestershire there are around 490 officially identified young carers, although this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg as many who provide unpaid care for someone who is physically or mentally unwell or disabled are not known to local services. The 2011 census revealed that 3,490 young people in Worcestershire recognised themselves as having a caring role. “Many of these young people miss out on vital services and support to which they are entitled. National Young Carers Awareness Day was a brilliant opportunity to highlight the work young carers do, helping them, along with their families, access appropriate support.”To find out more about Worcestershire Young Carers or how you can make a donation and support the charity’s work, please click here.