Young Carers’ Awareness Day – a reminder of the vital role played by Cornwall’s young carers

Young Carers Awareness Day on 31st January is an opportunity to put the spotlight on Cornwall’s young carers and the support available for them.

A survey in 2018 by the BBC and the University of Nottingham estimated there to be as many as 800,000 secondary school pupils acting as young carers in England. The last census identified 1,217 young people aged up to 15 and 2,682 aged 16 to 24 who were providing unpaid care in Cornwall.

This army of,  largely hidden, young people of course continue their learning alongside their caring responsibilities, and this can lead to poorer educational outcomes and mental health challenges.

Recognising the pressures, The Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund for Young Carers offers grants, managed by the Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF), for young carers to support activities such as respite care, accommodation, learning breaks, hobbies or equipment. In fact, anything that offers young carers in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the opportunity to be young people free from their caring responsibilities.  Grants are available up to £200 per carer and applications are made through sponsoring organisations.

A grant was awarded by The Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund for Young Carers, for Kernow Young Carers to run art activity sessions for a group who attend Poltair School.  This provided the young people with a break from their caring role and responsibilities, but also the chance to explore the caring role through discussion, brainstorming and art. The artwork was then displayed in the school to raise awareness of the group of young people and the vital responsibilities they take on.

Tamas Haydu, Chief Executive of CCF, says, “The young people who apply to us are often going way beyond what would normally be expected for a person of their age.  What they do is inspirational and can impact their own wellbeing. The grants available enable the young person to step aside for a time from their caring responsibilities.”

For more details and to apply, click here.