Imagine being eleven years old and dreading Christmas

Charlie carries the responsibility of caring for a sick relative all year round. For young carers like him, the work doesn’t stop at Christmas - in fact, it only emphasises their loneliness, anxiety and sense of being different. 

No child should have to cope with such adult responsibilities alone - especially not at Christmas.

Donate today so young carers can get the support they desperately need.

Charlie’s transformation

When our project worker Lauren first met Charlie, he was struggling to cope with his responsibilities at home. He’d taken on most of the household chores and cared for his sister Lily after his mum was diagnosed with an agonising back condition.

Young boy serving sister food

Having someone to talk to transformed Charlie’s wellbeing. Lauren helped him become more confident and less anxious. She also helped in practical ways to ensure that juggling school and caring no longer felt like such a burden.

Since working with Lauren, Charlie says he feels “ten million times better.” He’s back on track with schoolwork and has made new friends. He’s back to behaving like an 11-year-old boy.


Support worker smiling
I see Charlie's incredible strength and resilience. But I have also seen first-hand the immense pressures on him, and the devastating effects they can have.


Project worker

How we help

We work tirelessly to ease the burden of young carers at Christmas and throughout the year. Every year, we support more than 3,400 young carers and their families through our dedicated services.

Smiling boy talking to support worker
  • We organise days out to give young carers a break from their daily responsibilities

  • We help families access professional help to lessen children’s caring duties

  • We give one-to-one support to help young carers work through their worries

  • We hold young carer clubs where children can build supportive friendships

Portrait image of child next to quote
“It’s more like having a friend than anything. I chat about caring and how it makes me feel. It helps having someone to talk to.”


Young carer

Your donation

Barnardo's key stat 2018

Of every £1 we spend, 91p goes on our work. 3p on governance and pension costs and 6p on raising the next £1. When Barnardo’s was founded 152 years ago, our vision was of a world where no child in need was turned away. In 2017-18, we worked with 301,100 children, young people, parents and carers – an eleven per cent increase from the 272,300 we worked with in 2016-17.

Charlie’s story is true. However, we have changed names and images to protect the privacy of the children we help. Donations will be used to fund areas of our work where the need is greatest.