We are urgently appealing for support to help children who help look after a parent, brother or sister who is ill or disabled as the service we provide in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough now faces closure.
As children go back to school in the next few days, some will be facing pressures and stresses that many adults would struggle to cope with.
Children who are caring for a family member may get in trouble at school for being late or not completing homework, be exhausted during the school day, and completely miss out on fun after school activities and clubs. They may struggle to make friends because they don’t have spare time to meet up, and their mental health can suffer.
Over recent years we at Caring Together have helped these children and young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by providing groups for these ‘young carers’, fun days out and other support for the whole family. The charity works with schools to set up support groups, so the needs of the children are better understood. We also provide trips out in school holidays so that children who are carers can have some valuable time off to have fun and make new friends.
But the funding for this has come to an end. Urgent support is needed for these children and young people to continue to get the help and breaks from their caring role that they need.
Miriam Martin, chief executive of Caring Together said, “Young carers can face huge demands, but their role often goes unnoticed. It is vital they are given the help and support they need.
“Returning to school means they may be sitting in lessons worried about the person they look after and what is going on at home.
“There will be young carers trying to get homework done alongside doing the cooking, washing up, or cleaning. Their caring role may include getting someone washed and into bed, administering medication and doing the food shop.
“Having a break and the right support are essential. If you are able to help by making a donation, or are part of a company or organisation that can give your support to young carers, you will be making a massive difference.”
Erin is 15 years-old, she helps to care for her dad who has several long-term health conditions. Erin described the impact of going back to school, “Being a young carer and going to school is hard.
“It’s just the worry and anxiety you have with you being at school and not at home day-to-day. You never know what will happen while you are not there.
“When I go home, if I don’t have sport after school, I make sure my dad is ok, get him what he needs and then do my homework. I make sure that is all out of the way before I help with dinner.”
The funding previously provided by BBC Children in Need for Caring Together’s work with young carers in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has now ended.
The charity’s current support for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough children who are carers will stop early in 2024 unless the funding is provided from individuals’ donations, companies and other organisations, enabling this to continue.
Your donation will make a difference
Your support could make a huge difference for children who have many caring responsibilities that even an adult would struggle to cope with.
- A donation of £10 could help Caring Together set up a young carer group in a school so children get the extra help they need.
- A donation of £26 could enable them to support a child for a month, making sure they have time to play and have fun.
- A very special gift of £310 would enable Caring Together to support a child who carers for a parent or sibling for a whole year!