It can be hard to identify yourself as a Young Carer and for many children the situation could be all they have ever known. Like with any of us who help a loved one we do not see ourselves as ‘carers’, we are simply helping out our mum, brother, granddad etc. It could be that you are helping a family member who has a physical disability, mental health issues, is frail and elderly, has a learning disability or who has problems with substance misuse. Being a Young Carer may mean it can be hard managing all of the things that you want to do with all the responsibilities you feel you have. It could a challenge keeping up with schoolwork or it may be hard to access extra-curricular activities. It could be that as a Young Carer you find that you get very tired and suffer with stress.
Being a Young Carer can leave you feeling isolated and vulnerable, especially if you feel that your peers do not understand your situation.
Here at Suffolk Carers Matter our aim is to work with schools and families to help early identification and raise awareness of Young Carers. We can provide opportunities for Young Carers to receive peer support and to access activities as well as have some time out from their caring role and do something for themselves. Our Carer Advisers can provide support via our Advice Line and we can refer Young Carers to our counselling service. It is important to point out that for any Young Carers under the age of 16 we must have consent from their parents/carers to make contact.