Work is underway to help the 700-plus young carers in Doncaster, whose own needs can get pushed back as they concentrate on helping parents or siblings.
Young Carers Awareness Day is a national day of recognition for the UK’s 700,000 young people who undertake caring roles.
This year’s campaign theme highlights how young carers’ own mental health can be affected by the pressures of caring.
Even with support, their plight can be made worse by people or professionals who are unaware of their full situations.
Led by Carers Trust UK, this year’s campaign includes a clear message from thousands of young carers across the country; #CareForMeToo!
In Doncaster, there are at least 720 young carers, aged up to 25 years. One in 20 young carers miss school because of caring responsibilities. Around 63 per cent care for a parent and 21 per cent care for a sibling.
Young carers often help family members to get up, get washed or dressed, and do many household chores.
Some are virtually housebound and give emotional support. Some are there for family members who misuse drugs and alcohol.
Across the borough, health and care services are linking together to reach more people.
Doncaster’s Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s mental health and wellbeing lists work that has been done over the last 12 months, with priorities that will be addressed over the coming year.
The Young Carers’ team, led by Doncaster Council, can provide one to one support, information and advice, and help them to take part in a number of activities and be part of social groups with others who are carers.
Doncaster and Rotherham CCGs are to become trailblazer sites to provide expert mental health support to thousands of pupils, as part of the Government’s plans to transform children and young people’s mental health through the NHS Long Term Plan.
New Mental Health Support Teams will nationally support more than 470,000 children and young people, from this year on.
Dr David Crichton, Chair of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We know that caring can be rewarding, and can contribute to the young person’s development.
“We are also aware that young carers often put their own wellbeing to the back of the queue, which can lead to an increased risk of illness and poor health.
“Some young carers can become socially isolated and it’s important that we tackle this.”
Doncaster Council has a dedicated page on their website about help and support available to young carers.