While the majority of UK teenagers probably spent their summer holidays hanging out with friends or playing on the Xbox, young carers rarely get any time off. 

Being a young carer often means looking after a family member who is ill or disabled or helping them by caring for other members of the family while they can’t.

In 2018, the BBC estimated that there were about 700,000 young carers in the UK and many of these incredible young people lead very challenging lives:  

  • 1 in 12 young carers is caring for more than 15 hours a week.
  • 1 in 20 misses school because of their caring responsibilities.
  • 1 in 5 has never been on a summer holiday with their family.

Last month a few of our Rainmakers volunteered at a Young Carers’ event, run by ELSA, at Lister Hospital, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The key objective was to work with NHS professionals and a small group of young carers to find out more about these young people’s needs in order to provide a better experience and enhanced support. The solutions might include a mobile app and improved training for hospital staff.

It was an inspiring day and also a real eye-opener to hear the young people talk about their responsibilities and struggles and to begin to appreciate the lives they live. For example, one teenager in our workshop was responsible for the care of not just one, but three family members. 

The event has made us all even more determined to get their voices heard and it was an absolute privilege to be included. Thank you, ELSA!

#YoungCarers #NHS #Education #MakeADifference #TechForGood

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