Young Carers Awareness Day takes place tomorrow, on January 28th. This is a national day of recognition for all the young carers in the
UK who work around the clock providing care and support to family and friends.
Bring Me Sunshine gives an insight into the issue of children acting as carers for a family member. A recent survey estimated that there may be as many as 700,000 young carers in the
UK, with an average age of 12.
The definition of a young carer is a child or young person whose life is affected by looking after someone with a disability or long term illness, including a mental illness, learning disability, drug or alcohol dependency, frailty, or old age. The young person may be the sole carer, or he/she may assist in the care of a parent, sibling, other family member or friend. The care they give may be practical, physical, and emotional.
Sometimes, as with Daisy and Sam in Bring Me Sunshine, children don’t realise they are young carers, and just carry on doing what needs to be done.
Young carers often
· have more responsibility than other children
· worry about themselves and family members
· feel sad
· feel scared
· feel anxious about the future
· don’t get enough sleep or rest, and are tired
· miss school
· have difficulty concentrating at school
· find it difficult to stay friends with other children
· get bullied
· don’t know who to turn to for help
Young Carers Awareness Day is a day dedicated to getting everyone talking about the thousands of young carers who are so often unidentified, and who miss out on vital services and support they are entitled to.
To help raise awareness these issues, Bring Me Sunshine is free to download on Kindle on January 28th. You can also enter my free prize draw to win one of three free copies of the book. And if you would like to use Bring Me Sunshine as a resource in schools, contact me for discounted books and free KS2 and KS3 activitypacks.
If you're a young carer, and would like to talk to other young carers, why not join in the conversation at Babble? Babble has been created by Carers Trust as an online space where those aged under 18 who are caring for a family member or friend can chat, share their experiences and access information and advice.