Children and young adults across Peterborough who are providing unpaid care for their family and loved ones will be among 20,000 young adult carers to have their lives transformed by a funding boost from Carers Trust.
Carers Trust Peterborough, based at Thorpe Hall, has been awarded more than £40,000 from Carers Trust, the UK’s largest charity for unpaid carers, to help young adult carers make life-changing decisions about their future.
Through its ‘Time for Change’ grants programme, Carers Trust is funding projects across the UK, targeting young adult carers aged 14-25 years.
This is often a very difficult and traumatic stage in life. Young adult carers find themselves juggling the demands of looking after a loved one alongside the strain of studying for exams, seeking work, applying for college and trying to find their own path in life.
These new grants will help to transform their lives by providing training, residential trips and one-to-one support sessions about education, health, housing and employment. Project workers will be making sure young adult carers understand their rights and get the steer they need to make choices in life – beyond their demanding caring roles.
A Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk spokesperson, said:
“This project aims to support a minimum of 40 young adult carers in Peterborough, but we know there are many more unidentified within the city. This funding will go some way to helping us, other professionals and the young people themselves in changing that. All young adult carers engaged with this programme will receive an individually tailored support package to address their goals, aspirations and ambitions.
“We will be liaising with already recognised training establishments, business, colleges and universities to enable young adult carers to have experience of transitioning into adulthood but we would also welcome other local organisations, business and companies to be involved in offering work industry focused visits and vocational support. There will be encouragement and provision to access peer support to develop their own peer networks and sense of community, as well as financial bursaries to support work, education and leisure development.”
Trisha Thompson, Head of Grants and Funding at Carers Trust said:
“Young adult carers are at a crucial stage in their lives – juggling the demands of caring for a loved one at home, while facing the challenges of studying for exams, applying for college or seeking work. These are very stressful times and many young adult carers tell us they feel isolated as they don’t know what choices they have or how to apply for college or a job, whilst juggling the demands of their home life.
“These big decisions can affect the rest of their life and their future chances to work or gain new skills. The Time for Change grants to local organisations centres will enable carers’ services to provide vital support to young adult carers in their areas who are having to make life-changing decisions. We know that support for young adult carers works and has a huge impact not only on the individual, the person they care for but on the cost to the state. Research in 2014 by the NEF Consulting indicated that investing in young adult carer support across the UK could save the state purse £141 million every year, with a saving of £1.77 being made for every £1 invested. In short, investing in young adult carer support improves life chances and does and will save the state money.”
Latest Census data reveals there are 315,000 young adult carers in the UK, but this is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg – many young adult carers remain undetected and unsupported.
Research shows that caring for a family member can have a huge impact on a young adult carer’s health, wellbeing and education. Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are also twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET). Recent census data reveals there are more than 30,000 young adult carers providing a shocking 50 hours, or more, of care each week.
In total, more than £711,000 was awarded in this latest round of funding from Carers Trust’s Time for Change grant programme, funded by The Co-operative Group.
This money was raised by colleagues, customers and members of The Co-operative during its Charity of the Year partnership with Carers Trust in 2013. In total, 20,000 young adult carers’ lives will be transformed through this work, running from 2014 to 2017.