What we do Worcestershire Young Carers Support for Young Carers What is Worcestershire Young Carers? Worcestershire Young Carers is a service that supports young people aged between seven and 17 who have a caring role at home. The caring role could be for a parent, a sibling or a grandparent due to illness, disability, physical or mental health difficulties or substance misuse. We also support young adult carers aged between 18 and 24. The caring role can be varied, ranging from administering medication, to cooking, cleaning and bathing, to helping to parent siblings or providing emotional support. Statistically, young carers are more likely to suffer bullying at school, are less likely to stay in education, employment or training and tend to have lower aspirations. How does Worcestershire Young Carers help? Young carers can self-refer to the service, or can be referred by a professional. You can find the forms here. Once a referral is received, a keyworker will contact the family and arrange a time for our assessment. When our assessment is complete we offer a variety of services. We provide monthly youth clubs at two venues across the county, with clubs offered in two age groups – seven to 12 and 13+. The clubs are an opportunity to switch off from caring roles, offer an opportunity to have fun, get valuable peer support and have experiences young carers wouldn’t otherwise have access to. In addition, we offer a full and varied programme of activities throughout the year. Past examples include camping trips, ice skating, fishing, sports events and residential trips to a variety of locations. We also offer one to one support for any young carer who may be experiencing problems around their caring role. Our keyworkers will develop an action plan with the young carer, highlighting where support may be needed and will have a series of sessions. This work could be around boosting confidence or self-esteem, finding a balance between caring responsibilities and school work, or just an opportunity to talk through problems in a safe and secure environment. These sessions are scheduled around the young carer and often involve evening and weekend work. All young carers also receive our quarterly newsletter which highlights all of the upcoming activities to get involved with, as well as ongoing text and telephone support wherever needed. We carry out regular reviews of our young carers needs so as to make sure we are meeting them as effectively as possible. In addition, we run our hugely successful Participation Group, funded by BBC Children in Need, which is a platform to allow young carers to have their voices heard by services and organisations that affect them. We also employ a full time Education Link Worker who’s role is to develop links with the county's schools in order to raise awareness and increase referrals to the service. What difference does Worcestershire Young carers make? Young carers face many additional barriers in their lives. They are more likely to suffer bullying at school, are less likely to stay in education, employment or training and tend to have lower aspirations. Many young carers have additional health issues of their own, and over 50% of our young carers come from single parent families, whilst 27% of them are in receipt of free school meals. Young carers face social isolation and are less able to access regular youth provisions or experiences that many young people take for granted. The support offered by the project is vital as we enable young carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities through our monthly youth clubs and regular activities. We support many to attend who do not have access to transport. These youth groups also offer valuable peer support – knowing that there are other young people with similar responsibilities makes a huge difference to confidence and self esteem. Our one to one sessions offer young carers a chance to talk about their caring role and how it affects them in a safe environment with someone who understands their position. The sessions are always targeted and based around a specific action plan, developed between the young carer and their keyworker, looking at the areas where support is most needed. This could be around self esteem, finding a balance between caring responsibilities and school work, or just an opportunity to offload. Hear what real people have to say: Thank you so much for booking (young carer) in. She is so happy to go to the meetings and is full of stories when she gets home! Thank you again for all your support and the work that you all do for (young carer) and the other children. Young carer's family member I thought you all deserve a thank you for everything you have done for not only our family but every other family that you help on a day to day basis! You all mean a lot to us young carers and our families! Yes it is your job but you all go above and beyond, that's what makes you all amazing and we all are very thankful! Thank you once again. Young carer Want to get involved? Donate We currently work with more than 400 young carers from across Worcestershire 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. Become a Worcestershire Young Carers Volunteer If you are interested in becoming an Worcestershire Young Carers volunteer please download our Volunteer Role Description here and click here to download our Volunteer Application form. Make a referral Young carers can self-refer to the service, or can be referred by a professional. To make a referral, please fill in the forms here. Once a referral is received, a keyworker will contact the family and arrange a time for our assessment.