Young people supported by Carers Trust Cambridgeshire have been told they will be able to help shape the organisation’s future strategy to ensure it meets their needs.
The pledge was made when young carers were invited today (28 January) to a Takeover Challenge at Carers Trust Cambridgeshire’s head office in St Ives to mark national Young Carers Awareness Day.
It is estimated there are 2,000 young carers aged 5-25 in the region – as many as two pupils in each class. A group of young carers from two schools in St Ives were invited to the head office to meet staff and see how the organisation is run.
Seven young carers, aged seven to 16 from Wheatfields Primary School and St Ivo School, had a chance to sit in CEO Dr Helen Brown’s chair to have a feel of what it was like to have the top job and be in the hot seat.
Helen was also questioned by the young people, along with Anna Bainbridge, Head of Family Care Services, and Mel Gray, Chief Operating Officer, on their favourite musicians and football team, as well as whether a young carer could sit on the board as a Trustee and future services for young carers.
Helen assured them: “We have been putting together our plan for the next four years. Young carers are in it in a big way.”
Anna added: “We will need your views about it. We want to put on the things that are worthwhile for you.”
Tania Bingham, Policy and Development Officer, said the Takeover Challenge had been a great success.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to hear their views about our future services and help with strategic planning. We gave them an opportunity to share their views and how we can move forward with them.”
One of the young carers, Shantel Mapimbiro, 12, looks after her mother and helps by cooking and cleaning, as well as looking after her two-year-old twin brothers. Her mother became ill following their birth. Shantel said she enjoyed meeting other young people her age who are carers too.
“You always feel you are the only person caring for your family, I never realised there were other young carers like me,” she said.