New research has revealed that the number of young carers in England is significantly higher than previously estimated at 800,000. Research commissioned by the BBC and carried out by Nottingham University shows that there are a staggering six young carers in every secondary school class. This means that in Surrey, we have over 13,000 secondary school age children working to support parents, siblings and other family members.
Young carers have always been there, but are often undetected, meaning children are left to manage on their own, often struggling, isolated and failing to thrive. Being a young carer can affect a child’s school attendance, educational achievement, mental and physical health, and future life chances.
In Surrey, Surrey Young Carers, part of Action for Carers, works to support these children. We offer free, impartial information and support to young carers and their families on minimising the impact of their caring role. We also provide workshops, forums, fun activities and groups. We give young carers time out from caring and help them to achieve their full potential. We also offer training to health, social care and educational professionals. Young carers can get in touch on 01483 568269, or visit our website here.
Free resource for Surrey schools – ‘People Like Us’
We also have a resource for schools to help teachers and pupils identify and support the young carers in their midst. ‘People Like Us’ was launched earlier this year, and is being given free to all Surrey’s schools. Research from Carers Trust has shown 68% of young carers are bullied in school – and miss an average of 48 school days because of their caring role. Often teachers are not aware of the young carers in their class – 39% of young carers said that nobody in their school knew about their caring role.
It’s free to schools in Surrey, and otherwise can be purchased as a full resource at £59.99, or as a stand-alone DVD at £29.99 here.