Can we ask you...
- Do you spend a lot of time helping someone close to you? Maybe a brother, sister, parent or grandparent?
- Do you miss out on spending time with friends due to looking after somebody?
- Do your family talk or confide in you when they have a problem or are feeling low?
- Do you sometimes have to help a family member to get up, washed or dressed?
- Do you do more household chores than other people your age? Perhaps you often shop, cook and clean for your family?
- Do you spend a lot of time looking after a family member because of their illness, mental health, physical or learning disability or drug/ alcohol misuse?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be a young carer or young adult carer.
A young carer is...
Someone, under 18, who supports someone who needs help eg. brother, sister, parent/ guardian
A young person that helps someone in their family home who may have a mental health issue, illness or disability (physical or learning) or misuse drugs or alcohol.
A child who gives up personal time to help support their family member.
What is it like to be a young carer?
There are lots of reasons why you might be finding things hard if you are a young carer. You might be worried about:
- the health of the person you care for
- your schoolwork or exams
- money, finding a job or your future
- not being able to meet and go out with friends
- feeling you don't have any other choice
- being emotionally abused by the family member you are caring for
- having to look after brothers or sisters.
And if you can't see your friends as much as you'd like, you can feel lonely and isolated.
The coronavirus pandemic has increased the challenges and pressure you may be experiencing.
The Government have produced some guidance specifically for young carers and young adult carers designed to help you understand the changes you need to make and signposts the help available during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It is important that you look after yourself and use the support available to help you to do this.
What support is available locally?
The Junction Foundation delivers 1:1 support and a range of age-appropriate group, social and developmental activities for young carers.
Their non-judgemental, confidential support services make a real difference to the lives of children, young people and their families across Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland. Get in touch: Tel: 01642 75600, email- firstname.lastname@example.org or contact through Facebook- @TheJunctionFoundation
The Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service is supporting children and young people experiencing mental health problems. Contact by phone: 0300 013 2000
Headstart is supporting school-aged children and young people in Middlesbrough with low-level emotional difficulties. Contact the team through Facebook: @Headstart Boro or by asking in school or speaking with The Junction.
Middlesbrough Recovery Together is a confidential drug and alcohol service for adults and young people in Middlesbrough. Phone: 01642 876323 or contact via Facebook: @CGLMiddlesbroughRecoveringTogether
Kooth is a fantastic, free and confidential, online support tool for young people. Take a look at this video which explains what it is:
Other useful websites and resources: