What we do Worcestershire Young Carers Education Link Project What is the Education Link project? Thanks to funding received from local donors, YSS launched the Education Link project in October 2017. David King is the new Education Link worker, looking to work in partnership with schools and colleges throughout the county to improve identification and support of young carers, ensuring young carers are safe, healthy, aspiring and achieving. David delivers assemblies to pupils and presents to staff teams. He works to to identify young carers 'champions' in each organisation and supports schools to partake in the national 'Young Carers in Schools' programme. The result of this will be better support for young carers in schools as well as increasing the number of referrals the Worcestershire Young Carers project receives. How does the Education Link project help? The 2011 census revealed that in Worcestershire alone there are 3,490 young people who identify themselves as having a caring role at home. The Education Link project aims to raise awareness and provide support to as many of these young carers as possible. Many young carers are unaware that they are in a caring role – by educating both staff and young people about young carers such as what their responsibilities can involve, the barriers they face and the support on offer, we hope to reach and offer support to as many young carers as possible . David delivers assemblies to pupils and also speaks to groups of teachers and tutors. He is encouraging schools and colleges to identify a member of staff to become a ‘Young Carers Champion' and will also encourage and support schools to partake in the national 'Young Carers in Schools' programme, which is a free initiative that makes it as easy as possible for schools to support young carers, and awards good practice. What difference does the Education Link Project make? David will be working in partnership with schools and colleges to improve the identification and support of young carers and ensuring young carers are safe, healthy, aspiring and achieving. Schools who agree to participate in the 'Young Carers in Schools' programme will agree to meet a certain set of criteria that shows they are invested in supporting young carers. They can then receive an Ofsted recognised bronze, silver or gold award. The Education Link worker will introduce schools to the programme and provide support in applying and meeting the standards. 'Young Carers Champions' will provide a network of like minded individuals to ensure that young carers have a voice and are not hidden from view. Hear what real people have to say: I’m the Education Link Worker for YSS Worcestershire Young Carers. My role involves building relationships with local schools and colleges, to raise awareness of young carers to staff, pupils and the local community, to identify young carers and ensure that they receive the help they need, and to reach those young carers who are hidden from view and may not have a voice. I also provide keyworker support and help to run clubs, residential trips and provide help for young people who are in a caring role. I feel extremely grateful to the generous donors who have made my role possible. Thanks to their donation to the Worcestershire Young Carers project I am able to support young carers, making sure as many young carers as possible are offered the support they need. It’s so important that young carers get the vital break from caring, and have the opportunity to enjoy being a child or young person without the responsibility of caring for another person. It’s great to be able to support young carers and there’s nothing better than to see them having some fun! David King, Education Link Worker at YSS Want to get involved? Donate We currently work with more than 400 young carers from across Worcestershire every year, but we know this is just the tip of the iceberg. We want to support as many young carers as possible and you can help us do that. Please donate to support our clubs and activities which, for many, provide the rare opportunity to experience new things, socialise and have fun away from their caring roles. Click here to donate. Find out more If you are a school or college and would like to find out more about the Education Link Project at YSS, please contact [email protected] or call 07584 278 740. Become a Worcestershire Young Carers Volunteer If you are interested in becoming a Worcestershire Young Carers volunteer, please download our Volunteer Role description here and click here to download our Volunteer Application form.