Young carers from Wolverhampton have shared their experiences of looking after a loved one as part of a series of events in the City to mark Young Carers Awareness Day (Thursday 25 January).
Four members of the Spurgeons Wolverhampton Young Carers support group for 13 to 14-year-olds spoke to HeadStart Wolverhampton about their experiences of caring for parents and siblings with physical illnesses or mental health conditions. Their thoughts have been captured in an inspiring short film, ‘Young Carers: In Their Own Words’.
In the film, they explain why they have taken on this vital role, talk about the challenging work they do on a daily basis and describe the impact that caring has on their own lives. They also praise the support they have received from Spurgeons Wolverhampton.
The film – available at http://bit.ly/2DPmvU9 – was one of a number of activities taking place for Young Carers Awareness Day.
Spurgeons also held a consultation coffee morning with HeadStart for parents and families of young carers, seeking their views on a range of issues, including access to support from schools and health services, and to the personal help they need with their own wellbeing.
Angie Jones, Childrens Services Lead at Spurgeons Wolverhampton, said: “There are almost 2,800 young people in Wolverhampton who take on huge responsibilities by providing practical and emotional care for a family member.
“Being a young carer can have a real impact on their own mental health and wellbeing and we want to help them find the support they need and to have time to enjoy being a young person too.”
Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: “Being a young carer is a huge challenges, and the excellent work done by Spurgeons really helps to support them to cope with the issues they face.
“As can be seen from the film HeadStart produced for Young Carers Awareness Day, the resilience and thoughtfulness of our young carers is truly inspiring.
“As well as the support available through Spurgeons, there are also resources available from HeadStart to young carers across Wolverhampton, including information, support and advice about mental health issues they may face because of the extra pressures they have on their young shoulders.”
HeadStart Wolverhampton is designed to improve the mental health and well-being of children and young people aged 10 to 16 by giving them the skills they need to cope with the challenges of modern life.
It runs a number of specific programmes in its four target areas of the City where need is known to be greatest, including Low Hill, The Scotlands and Bushbury South; Springfield, Heath Town, Park Village and Eastfield; All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall; and Bilston East.
HeadStart also offers city-wide support through a new Support and Guidance Directory at http://support.headstartonline.co.uk which provides a range of selected well-being and mental health resources from different organisations, with information targeted at young people, parents and carers, and professionals.
To find out more about HeadStart, please visit www.headstartonline.co.uk, follow @headstartfm on Twitter or Instagram, or find HeadStart on Facebook at www.facebook.com/headstartfm.
Spurgeons Young Carers supports carers aged from eight to 18. For more information, please visit www.spurgeonsyc.org/wolverhampton or call 01902 877550.