Coventry Carers' Bulletin - January 2019 - Young Carer Awareness Day

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Coventry Carers' bulletin

Welcome to this months' young carers takeover

To mark Young Carers Awareness Day on 31 January, this special bulletin is all about Young Carers, we've let the Young Carers Project take over the bulletin with a contribution from the Alzheimer's Society. So let's start with some of the facts;

Young Carers Facts

All about the Young Carers Project

So, it seems we have taken over your monthly Carers Bulletin, welcome to you all.

We are the Carers Trust Heart of England Young Carers Service in Coventry. We provide support to 5-18 year olds who have a responsibility for looking after or helping someone else to look after a person who has a disability, a long-term illness, mental health illness, Autism/ADHD or someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. That person could be the young carers’ mum, dad, brother, sister, grandparent or even a close friend or neighbour.   

Young people can be classed as young carers even if they do not do anything practical or live elsewhere, as they can still be affected emotionally or need help to understand the condition of someone who has care needs.

Young Carers may help out by going shopping, cooking, cleaning, making sure the person they care for takes their medicine, talking and listening to them when they are not very happy, looking after their brothers and sisters or anything else that helps out.

We support young carers by listening when they want to talk, giving information and advice, arrange trips and activities to give them a break from their caring responsibilities and support them through any troubles they may have in school (if the problems are because of their caring role).

Young Carers Project Logo

What's going on in the city

Penny Collard Centre

Everyone wants to come along to our activities when they hear how fun they are…but they are only for young carers registered with our service.

These run every month, and for groups of 5-7 year olds, 8-11 year olds and 12-17 year olds. All internal activities are based at our dedicated Penny Collard Centre, Young Carers Service, on Fleet St, CV1 3AY.

We run youth clubs, movie nights, skills-based sessions such as cooking, first aid, and we also do external trips to the cinema, bowling, theatre, to the seaside, theme parks etc. and we are currently planning on taking a group of young carers horse riding!

This is all to ensure young carers are given the opportunity to meet others in similar situations, make friends and have fun.


Help and support

Help and Support

Because we realise that not everybody is the same, and sometimes life can get a bit overwhelming as a young carer, we provide support in many different ways to best suit them.

This can be face to face in school or at our young carers centre, online (Facebook, email etc…), telephone call, texting or any other way that they may find useful.

We explore issues that are affecting daily life and support in enabling young carers to work out a way to deal with them. It gives them the opportunity to get things off their chest, work out solutions to any problems that being a carer may bring and find out about how we and other organisations in Coventry can help.

The impact of being a young carer

Young Carers Group

Being a young carer can be a challenging aspect of life. Like many things, it has it’s negative as well as positive impacts. Many young carers have learnt skills their peers have not, and it also means they have had to grow up a lot quicker – sometimes assuming the role of a parent in the home.

Last year, for Young Carers Awareness Day 2018, a survey conducted by the Carers Trust National showed:

"many five-to-ten year olds, known as infant young carers, are getting up at night to care for a sick family member.

There are around 10,000 young carers between the ages of five and seven providing unpaid care…

We found that:

  • 46% are getting up in the night to care for family members, missing out on their own sleep.
  • More than 80% are carrying out caring duties every day or most days of the week.
  • One in ten young carers go the shops unaccompanied to buy essentials for the family.
  • Three quarters of these children are providing emotional support by cheering up family members when they are sad”

The impact on mental health

The BBC estimates that there are about 700,000 young carers in the UK, and in Coventry alone there are around 5,000.

Poor well-being and mental health can be a common issue for young carers; Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week (

Sometimes young carers can face extra pressures and struggle to look after themselves, but it is important to take the time to look after their own well-being. There is information and help out there to make sure that they have emotional support and mental health and well-being support.

“The mental health of young carers, aged 17 or under:

The evidence shows that young carers have worse mental health than their peers:

  • A survey of 348 young carers found 48% said being a young carer made them feel stressed and 44% said it made them feel tired. 
  • A survey of 61 young carers in school found that 38% had mental health problems. 
  • The 2011 Census showed that young carers providing 50+ hours of care a week were up to five times more likely to report their general health as ‘not good’ . This Young Carer Awareness Day, if you or anybody you may know sounds like they are in a similar situation you can get in touch for a chat and to find out more about what we do and the support that is available. You can call us on 024 7610 1040 or visit"

Young Carer - Josh's Story

Young Carers Logo

Josh cares for his mother who experiences mental ill health. He first accessed the Young Carers Service via a referral from his school due to issues raised by his father both at home and in school due to his caring role. Our support worker identified that Josh really needed to get out of the family home and have a break from some of the difficulties he was facing. His confidence levels were very low, and he did not like to meet new people. This made him very uncomfortable and socially isolated.

Although hesitant at first, after a couple of months, Josh agreed to come along to our 12-17 year old youth club session. At first, he did not want to get involved but our support worker identified that Josh loved to play the guitar, so he got out a couple of guitars and they started playing; Josh really seemed to enjoy this.

When Josh attended the next session, he went straight to the guitars. We discovered that another of the Young Carers in the session played the drums so we also got out the drum kit and the two of them started playing together; you could see Josh’s confidence grow by the minute.

Josh has now been to many sessions since and his confidence levels have increased dramatically. He is now talking to new people and has instigated the idea of a ‘School of Rock’ for Young Carers and wishes to start a Young Carers’ band, something we are keen to support him with.

Although the situation at home is still difficult Josh feels more able to cope as he is getting a break from his caring role, has new friends and has support from the service whenever he needs it.

Increasing Dementia Awareness can support young carers

Young Carer Alzheimers

There are a number of young carers in the city supporting people living with dementia, whether with a parent who is experiencing a younger onset of dementia, or another relative or family friend.

Alzheimer’s Society can complement the work undertaken by the Young Carer’s Project by helping to increase understanding and awareness about dementia. This could be with the young person themselves through the ‘one to one’ dementia navigator service, but also through enabling greater awareness for teachers and classmates through Dementia Friends.

These interactive sessions can be tailored to different age groups and aren’t just about information giving, but committing to a dementia friendly action. To find out more, please go to the Dementia Friends website.

If you would like more information or if we can give you any dementia-related support, please telephone Coventry Alzheimer’s Society office on 024 7665 2602 or email us on

Dementia Friends

Are you Young Carer Aware?

Young Carer

If you would like to find out more about the role and rights of young carers and how they can be supported why not take a look at our Young Carer Aware course.

It's a FREE online course that anyone can do and helps you understand more about who Young Carers are, their rights, responsibilities under the Care Act and Children and Families Act and how we can support Young Carers. 

Useful links...

Young Carer Aware Course

Coventry Young Carers Project

Young Minds - Looking after yourself

Children's Society - Support for Young Carers

Carers Trust - Young Carers Information

Sign up or contact us

It’s simple!  Just add your email address in the top right hand corner and click GO!

You can also sign up or view previous bulletins from our Carers' website.

If you have any comments or wish to contribute something to the next bulletin, please let us know by contacting us at