New clubs offer support and fun to young caregivers
The Wiltshire Young Carers Service is set to launch new clubs specifically for young carers in the coming months.
The clubs will open their doors once a month to offer a range of exciting activities, development workshops relevant to young caregivers and a safe space for young caregivers to meet other young caregivers.
The initiative is more important than ever, as studies show that young caregivers have been under considerable pressure by the pandemic. According to data from Carers Trust, 66% of young caregivers say they are more stressed since the coronavirus.
Children as young as five can help care for an adult or sibling at the expense of their own well-being and education. Research shows that young caregivers are more likely to be bullied in school and that on average, young caregivers miss or shorten 48 days of school per year.
The new clubs will help develop peer support networks and offer localized support that young caregivers can tap into and cope with as needed.
A young caregiver who has attended previous events with the service said: “The Wiltshire Young Carers service has helped me become a much stronger person. Attending the activities and working with my youth worker helped relieve my anxiety and confidence.
“I have made a lot of new friends with young caregivers who understand what it’s like to be a young caregiver. Having something that’s right for me is great; everyone is very friendly and i always have a good time.
The Wiltshire Young Carers Service works in partnership with Carer Support Wiltshire to provide support to young people aged 5 to 19 with important roles to play. The support offered includes coaching, mentoring, advocacy, group respite activities, online activities and skills development opportunities.
The service celebrates young caregivers and encourages fun, laughter and the creation of fond memories together, while helping young caregivers build their confidence and self-esteem.
In difficult times, the team is available to listen, mentor and support. There is a caring team of Reece, Jo, Kerry and Niki who are passionate about their work, their lives and the lives of young caregivers.
Face-to-face support has been affected over the past 18 months by restrictions related to the pandemic, but the team is still very available and registered young caregivers are encouraged to contact them to discuss their needs.
If you would like to learn more about the Wiltshire Young Carers Service, visit communityfirst.org.uk/yaw/young-carers/
You can also find information on registering as a young carer and accessing services at carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/young-carers/