Carers Trust Cambridgeshire has held its first Young Carers in Schools conference in the region to identify pupils with family caring responsibilities at home.
It is estimated there are more than 2,000 young carers aged 5-25 in the region – as many as two pupils in each class. Identifying them early is vital to provide them with support to safeguard their wellbeing.
Teachers and pastoral staff from 16 schools took part in workshops at the Young Carers in Schools Programme at Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon, on Tuesday 24 November, co-hosted with Carers Trust and The Children’s Society.
Young Carers Policy and Development Officer, Tania Bingham, said: “This was the first ever Young Carers in Schools conference to be held in the region and I was delighted that it was a great success. Our workshops highlighted some of the warning signs that schools should be aware of, including lateness, tiredness, not completing their homework, and even bullying. We believe that young carers’ school work should not suffer because of their caring roles, they should be able to achieve the same academic standards as their peers.
“We have many schools that have already embraced the programme which rewards schools for their involvement and assessment of young carers with an award – bronze, silver and gold – and I am delighted that some are well on their way to applying for the bronze award, demonstrating their schools commitment to young carers.”
The opening address was made by Adrian Loades Executive Director, Children, Families and Adult Services at Cambridgeshire County Council, who praised the Young Carers in Schools programme, which is funded by The Queens Trust and the Big Lottery. Young carer Brandon Bell, 14, who is supported by Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, talked about his experiences caring for his brother who has autism and significant learning difficulties and he also cares for his younger sister Daisy who has hydrocephalus.
If your school wishes to get involved with the programme, you can do so by contacting Tania Bingham at Carers Trust Cambridgeshire on 0345 241 0954.