Sheffield young carers help to 'lead national action'
A group of young carers from Sheffield are helping to give people from across the country a voice on how they can they can be supported better.
Young carers are children and young people who are play a key role in caring for disabled or seriously ill parents or siblings
Sheffield Central MP, Paul Blomfield, hosted a meeting of young carers groups from around the country this week who came together to meet with MPs and agree action to improve support for young carers.
Mr Blomfield is Patron of Sheffield Young Carers, and the meeting comes after he helped the group take their ideas to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, last year.
He said: “Sheffield Young Carers’ Group does a brilliant job supporting inspirational young people who juggle caring responsibilities with education and everything else in their lives.
“They’re also giving young carers a voice on how they could be supported better. I’m pleased to help them take that voice to Parliament and lead national action on the issue.
“I led a debate in Parliament in February, but more needs to be done by the Government. So we decided to bring young carers groups together to discuss how we can raise the profile of young carers and persuade the Government to help.
“It was a great meeting, confirming that the sort of issues we’ve been raising are shared across the UK. But we heard some new things too and have agreed an action plan.”
Young carers are a hidden group due to the stigma attached to their caring and fear of what might happen if people find out about their role.
Young Carers groups, such as Sheffield Young Carers, work closely with statutory services, voluntary sector and community organisations, and local councillors and MPs to provide a clear voice for young carers, help to identify more young carers just like them.
They also help to improve the quality and availability of support for young carers across the city.
Laura Selby from Sheffield Young Carers said: “It was exciting to have so many people at the meeting, both MPs and young carers services from across the country, who are working to make young carers’ lives better.
“We heard some great examples of what other groups are up to in their work and discussed how we’re going to come together to build a national voice for young carers.”
The young carers groups made plans to campaign with a national voice on young carers’ issues, such as the need for more training in identifying young carers for medical professionals and encouraging schools to provide targeted support.
The meeting also heard from Laura Bennett from the Carers Trust, who have been commissioned by the Government to review best practice in identifying young carers.