Update from The Junction Foundation's #iWill project

Young Carers with their poster

13 September 2022

What is #iWill?

The #iWill team are a group of local young carers, with The Junction Foundation, engaged in social action for the benefit of other local young carers' families. 

Family Consultation and Community Services Market Place 

The #iWill group have been gathering family views throughout the project through surveys and event evaluations, which have been really valuable for the service in ensuring that going forward- events are accessible and inclusive to families. For example, transport was identified as a huge barrier to families attending our family groups and events

The group decided that a really good way to consult further with families would be to have opportunities for them to create a piece of art that could be used in a social media campaign to get their voices ‘out there’ (the photo at the bottom of the page shows a young carer family with their poster creation).

It was also identified that families would benefit from knowing what other support is available in the local area, so the group planned the next event with this in mind and local charities were invited to attend.

This final event was held at My Place Community Hub in Middlesbrough and was attended by 11 young carer families, 5 #iWill volunteers and 4 local support organisations who held a stall and parents were encouraged to connect with the organisations whilst their children were entertained by a magician. Organisations in attendance were: The Bungalow Project, We Care You Care, Carers Together, and Foundation (domestic abuse), and we took leaflets for local Mind mental health services.

Kelly Baxter who is the We Care You Care Project Lead at MVDA participated in the event and said, "the #iWill families event was a really positive day, it was a fantastic opportunity to connect to young carer families and hear about the realities both positive and negative of their everyday experiences and how local organisations working together to support them can really make a difference to their day to day lives." 

A buffet lunch was provided and then families were encouraged by our volunteers to design a poster to ‘have their say’. Feedback was really positive: all families really enjoyed the event and reported gaining valuable information on the local support. The views gathered will be evaluated by the #iWill focus group and the findings will inform a social media campaign to raise awareness about young carer issues.

Young carer family with poster