Young Carers Action Day – protecting young carers’ futures

9th March 21

Young Carers Action DayTuesday 16 March is Young Carers Action Day. And ahead of the day a survey and series of interviews have looked into the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Between now and Young Carers Action Day we will be sharing interviews with young carers and young adult carers where they give their stories about the impact on them of being a carer and of the pandemic.

On 15 March an event will be held where the findings of the survey will be presented by young carers from Norfolk Young Carers Forum and young adult carers from Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

You can email [email protected] to find out more about this event.

Andy McGowan, head of carer services at Caring Together, said, “As we have looked at the results of the survey the impact on young carers aged under 18 and young adult carers aged up to 25 has become clear.

“Being a carer is hard. And the coronavirus pandemic has made it even harder. For some young carers being able to stay at home with the person or people they care for has been helpful, but for many the impact on their education, employment chances, social life and more have been significant.

“It is really important that this is understood and that people consider what they can do to help young carers’ futures.

“This is why the support we have continued to offer through this period has been so important. That has included groups on Zoom, trips (when restrictions allow) funding to help families with what they have needed for remote learning when schools have been closed, sessions looking at carer skills development and other support.”

Other support Caring Together are introducing are a specific listening ear service, mentoring and employability support, and a Carers choices bursary for young carers and young adult carers.

Find out more about young carers, young adult carers and Young Carers Action Day at

Throughout March Caring Together are encouraging people to walk your walk for carers – to take on whatever walking challenge they want, however far or short – to raise funds to support carers.

See for more details.

What some of the young carers and young adult carers have said

We will be sharing the full interviews with these carers in the build up to Young Carers Awareness Day.

James, 18, described the impact of being a young or young adult carer on every area of life, “It means that we miss out on social opportunities, on education opportunities and employment opportunities.”

But he said being part of a group such as Norfolk Young Carers Forum can make a big difference, “It’s a little bit of respite… Having those forum meetings has helped because it means that I can speak to other young carers and I c an just get my views out there as opposed to having to hold it all in.

“You make friends with people that are fellow young carers, and you know we talk all the time and its another way of supporting each other.”

Jasmine, explained how caring responsibilities can make school very difficult, “I’ll turn up to school exhausted.

“During the school day sometimes it’s hard to keep awake and focussed because there’s the worrying ‘Oh, is my brother doing ok?’, ‘Is mum ok?’

“With homework it’s hard to keep up with it when you’ve got all this, all the stuff at home, where sometimes cooking dinner doing the washing making sure my brothers alright and really helping mum out and everything.”

“It’s always there. Once you’ve started it you’re always worrying about are they ok and when your not there ‘oh do they need help?’

Lynne, 18, told us the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on her family, “We don’t get breaks anymore…

“People don’t understand that my life isn’t as easy as everyone else’s.

“It has just been so awful having to balance college with everything else – I don’t really know in words how to describe how this one’s made me feel other than it’s just been awful.”

Axel, 19, explained some of the challenges faced carrying out a caring role as a young adult carer when back from university, “When I was at home I had to go and pick-up meds for mum, and people were saying I shouldn’t be out and about, but I needed to be. When you’re caring for someone who can’t get out of bed you need to do things for them.

And Axel said all the many responsibilities make it very hard for carers do things for themselves, “Not having time is an issue, I have things on my To-Do list for myself but there are just not enough hours in the day.”

Sienna, 15, shared how lockdown has impacted the mental health of young carers, “There has been quite a few young carers saying they have found it difficult and that they have struggled with their mental health. I know at the start of the pandemic I found it really difficult. At the start I found it alright but then it got too much. Feeling isolated not being able to see friends and family, and not being able to go to school.

“My main message to other young carers is that you’re not alone!! And don’t feel afraid to ask for help because if you’re really needing it then you shouldn’t have to suffer.”

Tom, 24, revealed how getting a job can be difficult, “As a carer it is hard to find a job that fits with your caring responsibilities. The responsibility is like being the parent of young child in that you need to back by certain times to do certain things – whether it be for medication, to cook for them or in general to do other jobs to look after the person who is at home.

“It would make a big difference if more employers understood the demands and importance of people having a caring role.”

How you can make a difference

If you want to make a difference to young carers and young adult carers you can support the work of Caring Together at

We are also inviting people to walk your walk for carers throughout March.

Whether it is a one off walk or a challenge over a few days or a week, you can choose your challenge and raise money to help carers.

Find out more at

As well as our work to support young carers and young adult carers this can also support our wider work, such as providing help for people looking after a family member or friend to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

As well as our work to support young carers and young adult carers this can also support our wider work, such as providing help for people looking after a family member or friend to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

Your organisation can also sign up for the Carer Friendly Tick Award. Caring Together can work with you so you are able to identify and support carers of all ages in your organisation – whether you are involved in education, health, and employer or a community group. See