Young Carers Action Day Celebrations!

Young carers face a wide variety of challenges daily because of their caring role. Although young carers can often enjoy caring, too often they are disadvantaged in multiple aspects of their life: mental health, physical health, education, social life, finances, education and employment.  Young Carers Action Day aims to change this and to provide young carers and young adult carers with the future they wish for and deserve.

The Young Carers Action Day 2024 theme is Fair Futures for Young Carers, which will be focusing on why being a carer should not be a barrier for young carers to learn, earn or being able to get on in life – but for many, it is.

Carers Trust 2023 Young Carers’ Survey showed, 1 in 3 young carers struggle to balance their caring role with education, and this has a fundamental negative impact on whether they can succeed at school, access university, or even to gain employment or an apprenticeship.

These are the issues that we at Carers Trust Solihull, along with our young and young adult carers, highlighted and worked on together to better understand what it was they want from their current lives and futures.

We marked this year’s Young Carers Action Day with the return of our Young Carer and Young Adult Carer Clubs. For primary school aged young carers, we hosted a workshop called ‘Hopes and Dreams’, where we asked young carers, “if you had a magic wand, what would you ask for”.  

As you can imagine, we had some wild responses, and we used these to have fun discussions about what our young carers wanted from their lives, as well as highlight they’re still children with the dreams of children. It was not all work and no play though, we had other and more fun ways to let our carers find new skills, while learning that growing up can come with new opportunities. 

We had face painting, balloon modelling, tattooing (the washable kind, of course), board games and videogames, and of course lots of food.   

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“You’re good at being a good friend, draw that!”

Our secondary school carers had their own fun-filled activities and workshop; ‘Check out my Skills’. This workshop helped our carers to realise the skills they already have from their life experiences, as well as from the caring roles, and to realise how they can apply them to a future career of their choice. Again, we explored new skills while having fun, with a circus skills workshop. This is where our carers could show off their skills in animal modelling, juggling, spinning plates, and with the diabolo. Of course, with lots of food too!

Both primary and secondary aged carers also spent some of their time designing and creating artwork, which will be merged together into one piece – we’ll keep you updated on when this masterpiece is ready. We had 36 of our young carers produce artwork in which they expressed their hopes and dreams, and the skills they want to achieve to reach what they believe makes them a success. This helps to show themselves how the ideas of success can come in all shapes and sizes, and to show how their successes in life can come from beyond their caring roles. As well as to show others the potential that young people have and how they are more than just young carers. They are young people with hopes, dreams, and passions.

“I’m drawing a Superman badge because – why not!”

From becoming doctors and teachers, to travellers and footballers, and those with artistic desires to become graphic designers and photographers; our carers have varied and impressive goals for their lives and future careers. With the knowledge of the kind of skills they need to achieve them; teamwork, kindness, determination and hard work, and hobbies and interests that go beyond their caring roles such as sports, nail art, dancing, listening to music and people, and gaming.

We would like to thank the fantastic people at Carers Trust and Solihull Council for funding these events, as well as Renewal Church, Asda Chelmsley Wood, and Balsall Common Lions for donating Easter eggs, so every young carer could go home with a chocolate treat. Read about those wonderful people here.

Our young carers see no limits to the future they can live and the dreams they wish to make reality, yet too often they are limited by their caring obligations. Young Carers Action Day 2024 is all about making fair futures for young carers, and we believe they deserve it.

 

“I want to travel the world for a long time.”
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Related Young Carer, Young Adult Carer

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Raising awareness with BBC Radio WM

Our own Pauline Manby shared with Merisha Stevenson of BBC Radio WM, the work we do to help support and raise awareness for unpaid carers. Watch the segment here.

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