Working with Young Carers

New activities to support young and young adult carers.

The University of Nottingham’s Impact Campaign is supporting a range of activities involving work with young and young adult carers.

Britain’s ‘invisible army’ of young carers and young adult carers provide unpaid care to family members.

As well as caring for loved ones who are ill, disabled or have mental health issues or other needs, these young carers face their own challenges, such as education, employment and developing adult relationships. We want them to get the support they need.

As part of a recent university event we heard a bit more detail about this terrific project which covers a huge number children and young adults acting as carers:

The numbers:

There are 11m children under 18 in the UK. A quarter of these live in families where there is chronic physical or mental health problems, illness and disability.

Of these, as many as 700,000 children (eight per cent of all children) and 250,000 young adults (aged 18-24) have unpaid caring roles within their own families.

Many provide more than 20 hours of care per week; some, including very young children, care for more than 50 hours a week.

Our solution

The University is working with young carers and young adult carers to improve their quality of life. Thanks to our research, ­their role in UK society and internationally is increasingly being recognised. We will investigate the barriers that restrict their health, well-being, development and education, and identify policies and services that empower them and work best for them and their families.

It’s great work and this brief video (it is brief) shows just what can be done – it has highlights from a recent Young Carers Open Day at the University of Nottingham which was all about showing young carers the possibilities offered by higher education. This should be part of every institution’s widening participation programme.

All of this work is winning greater recognition for young carers, increasing their support networks and helping reduce the amount of caring they do, thereby giving them greater life opportunities. It really is hugely impressive.

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