Young carers in Harrogate are the focus of a new service commissioned by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).
The council has brought in Action for Children to deliver the service, which will be responsible for identifying and responding to the needs of young carers.
Life can be tough so it’s crucial that we offer them support in a fun and friendly environment, as well as the chance to have a break and simply enjoy being young.Director of children services Carol Iddon
Working closely with local charity Carers’ Resource, the scheme will aim to safeguard the health and wellbeing of young carers, support them with education, training, and employment, and increase their access to leisure, cultural, and social opportunities.
Action for Children’s director of children services Carol Iddon said: “Young carers often assume a level of responsibility which would usually be associated with an adult role around the home, and very young children can be responsible for cooking, cleaning and caring for parents or siblings.
“People are often amazed when they learn how much young carers do to help their families. Life can be tough so it’s crucial that we offer them support in a fun and friendly environment, as well as the chance to have a break and simply enjoy being young.
“Many young carers haven’t been identified yet – they don’t realise there is anything unusual about the role they have at home. For them, it’s everyday life. By visiting schools in Harrogate we hope to encourage young people who need support to come forward as we are here to help.”
The charities will also work closely with schools to raise awareness of the issues and worries young carers face on a daily basis and introduce the Young Carer Card process across all schools in North Yorkshire to positively identify young carers who may need support.
Anne Smyth OBE, director of Carers’ Resource, said: “In the 15 years we have worked with young carers, we have witnessed the amazing role they play and the huge difference we can make by providing support to family members.
“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Action for Children in providing much-needed services for young carers.”