Rotary Club Of Warwick

Apr20 - Warwickshire Young Carers

Young carers need our help

Anthony Bishop from Warwickshire Young Carers told a meeting of Rotary Club of Warwick about the high numbers of children in the county looking after a relative, usually a parent affected by sickness or long term disability.

In England there are estimated to be 166,000 young carers, of which 23,000 are under 9 years old. There are about 1,000 in Warwickshire, and 250 in Warwick District between the ages of 6 and 18 years old.

A child may start having to help out when a parent becomes ill, and may give medication, help them get up, washed and dressed, before getting off to school themselves. Children may have to do shopping, washing and help with siblings. Many of us know the worry of looking after a partner or elderly parent, but for children of school age this is all consuming, and the fear and responsibility are hard to manage. Many do not want to go on to further education feeling responsible to continue to provide care.

WYC is funded by Warwickshire County Council to provide these young carers with support and advice, and homework clubs. They will also make sure that the school knows why a child may not be able to keep up, and identify any support which is available to the parent from Social Services. However during the school holidays they need funds to provide young carers with “time out” when they can be children, and go on day trips or even have a weekend away.

Thanking Anthony, Rotarian Laurie Day said how shocked he was to hear how many young children were carrying this hidden burden.  A small donation was made towards their costs and the club is keen to provide further support.