What is Worcestershire Young Adult Carers?

Worcestershire Young Adult Carers supports young people aged between 18 and 24 who have a caring role at home. The caring role could be for a parent, a sibling or a grandparent due to illness, disability, physical or mental health difficulties or substance misuse.  We also support young carers aged between seven and 17. The caring role can be varied, ranging from administering medication, to cooking, cleaning and bathing, to helping to parent siblings or providing emotional support.

young adult carers at the national young carers festival

How does Worcestershire Young Adult Carers help?

Young adult carers can self-refer into the service, or can be referred by a professional. You can find the forms here. When a referral is received, a keyworker will contact the family and arrange a time for our assessment.

After our assessment is complete we offer a variety of services. We provide monthly youth clubs at two venues across the county, with clubs offered in two age groups – seven -12 and 13+. The clubs are an opportunity to switch off from caring roles, offer an opportunity to have fun, get valuable peer support and have experiences young carers wouldn’t otherwise have access to. In addition, we offer a full and varied programme of activities throughout the year. Past examples include camping trips, ice skating, fishing, sports events and residential trips to a variety of locations, amongst many more.

We also offer one to one support for any young adult carer who may be experiencing problems around their caring role. Our keyworkers will develop an action plan with the young carer, highlighting where support may be needed and will have a series of sessions. This work could be around boosting confidence or self-esteem, finding a balance between caring responsibilities and school work, or just an opportunity to talk through their problems in a safe and secure environment. These sessions are scheduled around the young carer and often involve evening and weekend work.

Young Adult Carers are statistically far less likely to maintain their education, employment or training due to their caring responsibilities. For this reason we place a lot of focus on giving young adult carers the tools needed to sustain their place.

All young adult carers also receive our quarterly newsletter which highlights all of the upcoming activities to get involved with, as well as ongoing text and telephone support wherever needed. We carry out regular reviews of our young adult carers needs so as to make sure we are meeting them as effectively as possible.

In addition, we run our hugely successful Participation Group, funded by BBC Children in Need, which is a platform to allow young carers to have their voices heard by those services and organisations that affect them. We also employ a full time education link worker who’s role is to develop links with the counties schools in order to raise awareness and increase referrals in to the service.

What difference does Worcestershire Young Adult Carers make?

Young adult carers face many additional barriers in their lives. They are more likely to suffer bullying at school, are less likely to stay in education, employment or training and tend to have lower aspirations. Many young carers have additional health issues of their own, over 50% of our young carers come from single parent families and 27% of them are in receipt of free school meals. Young carers face social isolation and are less able to access regular youth provisions or experiences that many young people take for granted. Young Adult Carers are far less likely to progress on to higher and further education, sustain long term employment and often find themselves working in the caring profession. They have lower dreams and aspirations around what they can achieve. 

The support offered by the service is vital as we enable young carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities through our monthly youth clubs and regular activities. We support many to attend who do not have access to transport. These youth groups also offer valuable peer support – knowing that there are other young people with similar responsibilities makes a huge difference to confidence and self esteem.

Our one to one sessions offer young carers a chance to talk about their caring role and how it affects them in a safe environment with someone who understands their position.  The sessions are always targeted and based around a specific action plan, developed between the young carer and their keyworker, looking at the areas where support is most needed. This could be around self esteem, finding a balance between caring responsibilities and school work, or just an opportunity to offload.

For young adult carers we place a focus on helping them maintain their education, employment or training. This can involve developing timetables to balance caring responsibilities and education, writing CV’s and supporting college or university applications.

 

Hear what real people have to say:

This year’s trip was incredible. Having the opportunity to go to Edinburgh and learn about their culture was truly amazing; however I must say that being able to go to Edinburgh Zoo was probably my favourite part of the trip as I have always wanted to visit it, even if the panda’s did not want to come out and play.

Even though we have done many awesome trips in the past, this year definitely topped the others as I felt like we bonded more as a group and for many of us, this year has been quite a difficult one so having the opportunity to kick back and enjoy ourselves with our youth leaders was very much needed.

Young Adult Carer

Want to get involved?

Donate

We currently work with more than 400 young carers from across Worcestershire but we know this is just the tip of the iceberg. We want to support as many young carers as possible and you can help us do that. Please donate to support our clubs and activities which, for many, provide the rare opportunity to experience new things, socialise and have fun away from their caring roles. Click here to donate.

Become a Worcestershire Young Carers Volunteer  

If you are interested in becoming an Worcestershire Young Carers volunteer please download our Volunteer Role Description here and click here to download our Volunteer Application form.

Make a referral

Young carers can self-refer to the service, or can be referred by a professional. To make a referral, please fill in the forms here. Once a referral is received, a keyworker will contact the family and arrange a time for our assessment.