Welcome back to another blog post by carer activist and author Matthew McKenzie. Only a few days until Young Carers Action day 2023, which will be on wednesday 15 of March. Young Carers Action day is an annual awareness and campaign event run by national carer’s charity Carers Trust.
If you are not sure what young carers do. They look after someone in the family unpaid and will have to cook, provide housework and even do shopping. It is not those tasks alone, young carers from the age of 5 can even provide physical care or emotional support. Young carers might even have to advocate for the person they care for or even help communicate for the ‘cared for’.Embed from Getty Images
If you wish, you can check out my video on Young Carers Action day from my YouTube site below.
With all the tasks mentioned above and more, it makes sense that the theme for YCAD is “Make time for young carers”. It is important young people get the time for themselves since their role can be very demanding and caring for someone often comes with sacrifices. Later in life, people might have a choice in the care they provide, this cannot always be said for young carers who miss out on many opportunities. This could be in making friends with those at school, or missing out on education and skills training. When caring for someone, if you do not get a break then your own wellbeing is at risk.
So it is important young carers have access to breaks and are able to be identified early. When I was young, I did not know I was a young carer, so Young Carers Action Day helps raise awareness to young people who are caring. Once they know they are carers, then it is easier to ask for support and to ask to be identified.
Carers Trust want several things to happen for young carers.
- improved support in schools
- more access to breaks,
- better access to counselling support
- and more financial support.
If you want to help spread the message, check out Carers Trust resource pack from the link below