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MP meets with Barnardo’s young carers to talk about challenges

Release Date: 09 Apr 2018

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion met with a group of young carers at a Barnardo’s service this week to listen to them talk about the challenges they face.

Sarah Champion MP visited the Barnardo’s Young Carers’s service in Rotherham and met with 17-year-old Regan, Chelsea (14) and Dylan (14).

The young people talked about the support they have had from the children’s charity, their involvement with the Young Carers’ Council and the part they have played in helping to raise understanding and awareness of young carers’ issues across Rotherham.

Sarah Champion MP said:

It’s been wonderful to meet with the young people and learn about their lives and the challenges they face. What has really hit me is the sense of isolation that some young people feel when they are carers and just how vital Barnardo’s is in supporting them and helping them to develop as young people in their own right.

I am very impressed with the Barnardo’s service here in Rotherham and the work that’s being done to support these impressive young people.

Regan, a college student who helps to care for his mum, said:

I had to grow up a lot quicker than most people I know because I needed to care for my mum after an accident. I was an angry person until I came to Barnardo’s. They changed my life. I feel like there’s someone to listen to me and I’m a lot more confident now and have a lot to look forward to.

The young people also spoke about the benefits of being able to take a break from their caring roles and spend time with other young carers at Barnardo’s groups and outings.

Manager of the Barnardo’s Young Carers’s service, Kevin Hynes, said:

We welcomed the opportunity for our young people to meet with Sarah and discuss first hand the challenges and issues they face on a daily basis.

Our young carers are resilient young people who we are incredibly proud to work with. By making their voice heard today they will help to shape understanding for other young carers across the country.

Barnardo’s Young Carers’s service in Rotherham supports children and young people who care for someone in their family. The service provides support to any child or young person from the age of eight to 18 whose caring role has an impact on them physically or emotionally.

The service supports the family as a whole and works in close partnership with other agencies. Following assessment, Barnardo’s provides one-to-one support and group work for young carers as well as planned activities during school holidays giving young carers a chance to meet other children and young people in similar situations. Staff also provide training and advice to other services and schools in contact with young carers.  In 2016-17, Barnardo’s supported 1,438 young carers across the UK. Young carers often miss out on opportunities to learn and play due to their caring responsibilities. Barnardo’s young carers services work to lessen the impact of caring responsibilities and source external support for the relative needing care.  

Barnardo’s campaigns for change for young carers and is currently pushing for the government to make a significant provision of support for young carers in the forthcoming Carers Action Plan.

Notes to editors:

Last year 272,000 children, young people and parents were supported byBarnardo’s through more than 1,000 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes.

Registered charity No. 216250 and SC037605.

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