Local young carer, Clayton Mushore, features in a short film which has been sent to all schools in the region. Clayton, who attends Bristol Free School, is 14 and he helps care for his older brother who has global developmental problems.
The film has been put together by the local charity, Carers Support Centre, and it aims to raise awareness amongst teachers and pupils. Please ask your local school to show this film!
Carers Support Centre works with schools to help make sure young carers are identified and support is put in place to help them manage. The charity already works with 32 schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, including Horfield CE Primary, Littlemead School and Bristol Free School – and hopes to work with more.
Carers Support Centre provides specialist support to carers, including children aged eight to 18. This includes one-to-one and family support, carers’ groups, respite activities, short breaks and training.
There are likely to be young carers in every school and college, but many remain unidentified. In a Carers Trust survey, 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.
Young carers are a group who rarely ‘self-identify’. This is often because the child is unaware that they are carrying out a caring role or the family fears, when the child’s caring role comes to light, public services will intervene and they will be separated.
Keith Sinclair, Chief Executive of Carers Support Centre, said:
“Young carers miss out on their childhood. They can often become isolated due to caring duties, missing out on playing, seeing friends and other leisure activities. They can often miss lessons and as a result, can struggle to keep up with school work and not achieve their potential. They can also suffer from bullying at school.”
Young carers sometimes experience physical health problems due to heavy lifting, poor nutrition and lack of sleep. They also often suffer from mental health issues too, including stress, anxiety, low confidence and low self-esteem.
Keith Sinclair concludes, “Many young carers have no choice but to look after parents and other family members, and many take on this responsibility without a second thought. It is crucial that young carers get the support and help they so desperately need.”