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Young carers

What is a young carer?

A young carer is any child or young person under 18 whose life is affected significantly by the impact of caring for a family member with a disability, chronic illness or dependency on drugs or alcohol.

‘Affected significantly’ ranges from the absence of ordinary childhood experience for very young children, to the need for older children to take extraordinary roles and responsibilities.

Sometimes, family circumstances mean that that some young people get a lot more involved in running their home or looking after members of their family than most others do.

If you:

  • look after a relative
  • help out a lot at home
  • find it hard to go out without feeling guilty

… then you're not alone and you don't need to stay silent.

If you need support or just a friendly chat then Wirral Young Carers Project may be able to help.

A young carer may know what it's like to:

  • do the housework or the shopping, or look after a relative who is sick, elderly, disabled or has mental health needs
  • take care of someone older than themselves who would usually take care of them, but can't because they are upset or feeling down
  • miss school, or not be able to go out with friends because there are things that have to be done – and there is nobody else to do them
  • be away from the relative/s for even a short time and feel worried or guilty

Young carers should be able to:

  • have time off from caring
  • have the choice not to be a carer

Like other young people, young carers should have the chance to grow up in their own time and to be free to enjoy the experience of growing up. This might include:

  • time out with friends
  • time to be alone
  • time to be ill
  • holidays
  • time for rest and leisure
  • time for homework
  • hopes and plans for the future
  • education
  • opportunities to be outrageous
  • someone to care for them

Young carers support

If you are a young carer, Wirral Young Carers Project is able to give friendly advice about all sorts of things that may worry you.

You can tell them about your problems and difficulties and they will listen. You might like them to meet your family so that they can help sort out problems together.

Wirral Young Carers Project can also help you to see that you are not alone, and you can meet other young carers who understand exactly how you feel.

They can help to arrange for you to have some free time to do the things that are important to you now and things that you would like to do in the future.

If you're a young carer or think you might be, why not get in touch and see how it might help.

Wirral Young Carers Service - Barnardo's
Tel: 0151 678 7790
Email: wirralservices@barnardos.org.uk

Wirral Young Carers
Ganney’s Meadow Nursery School & Family Centre
New Hey Road
Woodchurch
Wirral  CH49 8HB