80 per cent of young carers carry out their caring role every day ‘missing out on childhood’

80 per cent of young carers carry out their caring role every day ‘missing out on childhood’
Picture by: Paul Davey / Demotix/Demotix/Press Association Images.
Picture by: Paul Davey / Demotix/Demotix/Press Association Images.

Research by Carers Trust has revealed that 80 per cent of young carers carry out their caring role every day, ‘missing out on their childhoods’.

A young carer is a child or young person under the age of 18, who cares for a family member or friend with a disability, long term health condition, a learning difficulty, mental health problem or who abuses substances.

Almost a quarter of the young people surveyed for the report, Missing Out, care for more than 20 hours a week.

The report was brought out today (Thursday, January 28) to recognise young carers and to raise awareness as part of Young Carers Awareness Day.

The day of action includes numerous ‘audience with young carers’ events taking place across the country, in a bid to help identify others who may not know they are a young carer, and to help them receive the support they desperately need.

Gail Scott-Spicer, CEO of Carers Trust, said: “Thousands of young carers across the UK are missing out on their childhoods because they are caring for an ill family member.

“Playing out with friends, going on trips and to the cinema are some of the things that most young people look forward to, but for many young carers their reality is cleaning, shopping and cooking instead.”

Half of the young carers surveyed help to administer medicines to family members, while 41 per cent help with personal care, such as washing and helping the person they care for to get dressed.

Gail Scott-Spicer, CEO of Carers Trust, added: “Young carers are constantly burdened with the worry of what is happening to the parent or sibling they care for at home. Their caring role never stops – whether they are at home or school.

“As part of Young Carers Awareness Day, we want as many people as possible to help identify and raise awareness of young carers and the invaluable work they do.

“We want these children to be able to live a full life, like their friends, which means they won’t be missing out on their childhoods – getting the help and support they desperately need.”

Being a young carer can also impact on a person’s social life.

Eighty-two per cent of the young people in the survey said they miss out on seeing friends, 60 per cent said they miss attending events and other activities.

Young carers may also struggle with education – fourty-five per cent of young carers surveyed said they struggle to get their homework done on time.

 

Sophie Dishman

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