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Young Carers Awareness Day

5th February 2020

On the 30th of January, the Carers Trust led the Young Careres Awareness Day to bring awareness to the thousands of young people across the UK who act as carers.

The BBC estimates that there are roughly 700,000 young carers in the UK. 700,000 children who take on the responsibility of caring for a loved one. The emotional and physical impact that caring can have upon children is lasting and life altering. It can be isolating, worrying and stressful. Young carers then have to balance their home life responsibilities with their school life responsibilities, often resulting in negative impacts. The stress of balancing education with caring can lead to exhaustion, low self-esteem and anxiety. Young carers miss an average of 48 days of school and sadly, some 68% have been bullied in response to their role as a carer. With sparse free time, homework can be missed and the opportunity to spend quality time with friends is rare.

Spending time with friends, family and loved ones away from the burden of responsibilities is what CAFT offers. Some of the children who visit the Farm for a fun day or holiday are young carers, so we have seen first-hand the importance of quality time. Time to play, laugh and relax and just the time to enjoy being a child again is hugely beneficial to the mental and physical wellbeing of the young carers. Some young carers come to us through support groups, through their school or with their family. When they are here, we give the children exactly what they need – freedom. Whether the children are here for just a day or for a few days, their time here is from them alone; they have no chores, responsibilities or expectations. They are here to do with as they please and to most importantly, just have fun.

We hope that through awareness days like Young Carers Day, that light is shone onto some of the terrible hardships faced by some children in the UK and to proactively identify these issues, support, recognition and love can be given to the children who need it the most.