Young carers missing out on support across Telford & Wrekin

Nearly a thousand young people across Telford & Wrekin who care for a family member could be missing out on support by not joining a local specialist network.

The Telford Carers Centre is currently in contact with about 600 people, providing one-to-one support, advice, and respite activities.

But a report before a council committee says there are more than 1,500 under-24s looking after for ill or disabled relatives in the borough.

The author says some of these carers are as young as five, and describes this fact as "surprising and humbling”.

All-Ages commissioning officer Jill Tiernan said: "Across the country there are a lot of young people who carry out an indispensable role of supporting other members of their family.

"Within Telford there are increasing numbers of families being supported by children and young people.

"The 2011 census informs us that we are aware of 1,530 young people up to the age of 24 years across the borough who are referred to as young carers.”

Of these 504 are under-16 and 1,026 are 16 to 24.

The term ‘young carer’ means those who provide "regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances”.

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Their roles vary, but can include personal tasks like dressing, washing and administering medicine and household tasks like cooking, shopping and managing the budget.

Ms Tiernan added: "It can be surprising and humbling to be told exactly what young carers do who are sometimes as young as five.”

In the Telford and Wrekin area, Telford and Wrekin Community Voluntary Services assess and support young carers through their Young Carers Service.

Ms Tiernan adds: "Currently we are aware of approximately 600 young people registered with an receiving support from Telford Carers Centre.”

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The Young Carers Service, helps provide clubs and activities, assessments at school and one-to-one support.

Ms Tiernan writes: "Young carers can have all sorts of needs, such as organising their lives, completing school or college work, having time for play or leisure activities, isolation, tiredness, bullying and lack of confidence.

"These families are often financially stretched, another stress factor for these young carers.”

Telford and Wrekin Council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee will discuss Ms Tiernan’s report when it meets on Tuesday, November 12.

More information about young carers in Telford and Wrekin, and a video about their work and their daily lives, is available at telfordyoungcarers.org.uk




Date: 08 November 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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