School support for young carers

Lincolnshire Girlguiding and Carers First. EMN-200129-171548001
Lincolnshire Girlguiding and Carers First. EMN-200129-171548001

Young Carers Awareness Day (Thursday, January 30) is highlighting that as many as one in five secondary school children in Lincolnshire may be a young carer.

The average number of school days missed or cut short as a result of a young carer’s role is 48, but schools are responding with effective support.

Janice Spencer, interim director for children’s services for the county, said: “We are proud of the work of our schools in identifying and supporting young carers who would otherwise struggle to cope with the workload in the classroom. Understanding that these children might need further time to catch up on their studies or coursework can make all the difference. These children need to know they are not alone and can have the same opportunities as others to learn and achieve their potential.

“We want to hear from young people about the support they are given in schools and if it could work even better. Similarly, we’d also like to hear from schools about improved support which would make a difference in work with young carers and their families.”

If you think you may be a young carer, support is available: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/support-carers/young-carer-support #YoungCarersAwarenessDay #CountMeIn

There are 1,852 young carers in Lincolnshire, but estimates suggest many more young people have a caring role which are not known about.

“If you are a young carer or know of someone who is a young carer, please speak up,” added Mrs Spencer. “Carers have the right to an assessment – which is a way to get their voice heard and maybe get extra support to make their life and caring role much easier.”

The Lincolnshire Young Carers Service helps and supports children and young people up to the age of 19 who are helping to care for someone at home.

Contact youngcarers@lincolnshire.gov.uk or phone 01522 553275 for information or if you have any queries.

○ Girlguiding Lincolnshire South and Carers First have been working in partnership to raise the awareness of Carers and Young Carers amongst Leaders in the Girlguiding organisation, and on Young Carers Awareness Day Julia Winstanley the County Commissioner is launching the Carers Awareness Badge.

All sections of Guiding can gain important knowledge about the role of a carer and what is available locally and nationally to support carers and gain this badge.

Julia said: “Last year we met with Carers First to learn how we can raise the awareness of caring within guiding, since working with Carers First we have become more aware of who is a carer within Guiding and have identified parents who are carers, as well young members.”

Lisa Saunders, manager at Carers First said: “Carers UK state three in five people will be carers at some point in their lives in the UK, so it is vital that young people are aware and know where to get support early in their caring role.”

For more information about Girlguiding see their website www.girlguiding.org.uk/ . If you are a carer you can get support by calling The Lincolnshire Carers Service on 01522 782224 or the Carers First website www.carersfirst.org.uk/lincolnshire.