Young carers in Sheffield set for bright futures as new support project is launched
Young people from a Sheffield charity have spent their summer making a film about an exciting new project that has been launched to support young carers.
Greater Reach, Brighter Futures is a three-year education project funded by the British and Foreign School Society and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and delivered by Sheffield Young Carers, in partnership with Learn Sheffield and Sheffield City Council.
The project will offer up to ten education providers a tailored package of free advice, resources and training, to help them identify and support young carers in their own settings.
Emily Thew, education development worker at Sheffield Young Carers, said: “We’ve been working with young carers in Sheffield since 1997 and we know that getting the right support in school can have a really positive impact on their ability to attend and achieve. Greater Reach, Brighter Futures will help education providers all over Sheffield to address some of the barriers facing young carers and to ensure that their caring doesn’t stand in the way of their education or their hopes for the future.”
A young carer is a child or young person who provides a substantial amount of unpaid care to someone in their family with a long-term physical illness, one or more disabilities, mental ill-health and substance misuse issues.
Many children start caring when they are very young – sometimes four or five years of age – but often nobody finds out that they’re a young carer until they’re much older when their school work starts to increase or something goes wrong for them or their family.
According to research carried out by the BBC in 2010, 1 in 12 children and young people provide mid to high-level care to a family member.
Young carer Mia, aged 14, said: “I think that people don’t understand the full story. What many people might think of when they think of a young carer is the person doing all the chores, but it is so different than just that. Being a young carer comes in so many forms and has such a wide range of effects.
“I find that the emotional burden is forgotten among the focus on the physical aspects.”
Education providers across Sheffield are encouraged to apply for the free package before October 31.
To apply or for more information, visit www.sheffieldyoungcarers.org.uk