Are you under 18 and looking after a sick or disabled relative or someone with mental health issues or severe drug and alcohol problems? Do you help look after your brother(s) or sister(s) even if there are other adults in the house?

You may do things like helping someone wash and/or use the toilet, helping someone get around the house, give medication, cook, clean, shop and look after the household finances. Perhaps you give emotional support to someone who is depressed.

If any of this sounds like you, then you are what's known as a ‘young carer’.

Even when you love the person you look after, it is hard work. It is really important that you get the support you need to live your own life as well. There are an estimated 178,000 young carers in the UK (2011 census figure) although it is believed there are many more.

There are a few things to look out for if you think someone may be a young carer.  They may:

  • act much older than their age
  • often be late for school
  • under- or over-achieve at school
  • suffer depression or tiredness
  • often be absent from school
  • not take part in extra activities outside school hours
  • be reluctant to talk about home life
  • have a parent who often misses appointments
  • need to regularly use a telephone during school hours
  • need to regularly leave school grounds during breaks

Find out more about signs that someone may be a young carer.

If you are unsure whether you are a young carer – think about what you do at home and then look at the list below to see whether you do any of things. If the answer is yes, then you are a young carer.
  • Someone in my house has a disability or illness and needs help to do things because of it.
  • When this person in my house is feeling sad, low or depressed I listen to them or comfort them. Or I make sure they have time on their own so I get out of the way or take care of my brothers and/or sisters.
  • Sometimes I do extra household jobs when the person with an illness or disability is struggling to do them.
  • I worry about this person at home when I am at school/college/work.
  • Sometimes I’ll stay home with this person if they’re having a bad day.
  • I listen out for this person at night when I’m in bed in case they need my help.
  • If they need to go to the doctor or hospital, I go with them.
  • If this person needs medical help I have to call the doctor or ambulance.
  • Sometimes I tell friends that I don’t feel like going out because I need to be with this person.
  • My homework or study is sometimes not finished on time or is not very good because I have had to use my time to help this person.
  • Sometimes I take care of my brothers/sisters, help them get ready for school or make breakfast for them.
  • Sometimes I do things for this person that I know my friends don’t have to do for anyone in their families
  • I help this person to get into and out of bed.
  • I help this person wash and/or dress.

What can you do?

Our partner the B&NES Carers Centre can give you advice on the support that is available for you to be able to live your own life as well as caring for someone. Call them on 0800 0388 885 email: info@banescarerscentre.org.uk. The Carers’ Centre supports young carers with advice, days out, counselling, one-to-one support and more.

They can have a children’s assessment to help find ways to allow them to concentrate on school and have time to relax and socialise. They can also have a carer’s assessment which will help find ways to support you in your caring role. Contact the B&NES Carers’ Centre on 0800 0388 885. They support young carers with advice, days out, counselling, one-to-one support and more.

It can be difficult to keep up with work at school if you’re looking after someone, however much you love them. Speak to someone today who can help. Support for you and your family may include meals, practical help at home, financial advice, travel, holidays or a phone.
 

Contact our partner the B&NES Carers’ Centre on 0800 0388 885. They can advise you on how to arrange support for yourself and your family. They also provide days out, counselling, one-to-one support and more for young carers.
 

Don’t worry; we know it can be frightening to take this step and you may feel worried about what people will think. You can trust us to listen to you about what you are finding difficult. You can tell us what you need and we will work with you to find a way of getting that help in a way that suits you best. Once you phone us and tell us about your situation, we can work out whether we need to meet up with you to talk about things in a bit more detail.

We will ask you about how you are feeling about the time you spend with the person or people you look after. You will have a chance to tell us about anything you are finding difficult and the help you think would make life easier. We will also tell you about the kinds of things we can do to support you.

So get in touch today. Contact our partner the B&NES Carers’ Centre on 0800 0388 885. They can advise you on how to arrange support for yourself and your family. They also provide days out, counselling, one-to-one support and more for young carers.
 

Looking after someone is hard work. It doesn’t matter how much you love that person. You also need time off from doing the things you do and also from feeling responsible for someone else.

So get in touch today with our partner the B&NES Carers’ Centre on 0800 0388 885. They can advise you on how to arrange support for yourself and your family. They also provide days out, counselling, one-to-one support and more for young carers.

Get in touch today with our partner the B&NES Carers’ Centre on 0800 0388 885. They can advise you on how to arrange support for yourself and your family. They also provide days out, counselling, one-to-one support and more for young carers.

You can also (or ask a friend’s mum and dad, a doctor or teacher to) contact us to tell us about your situation so that we can find out more about how we can help.

Wellbeing Options - supports people in Bath and North East Somerset to live full and independent lives. Here you will find information about local care providers, services and activities, along with links to other useful websites and resources.

Our partner the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health partnership (AWP) has some information for young carers and links to organisations that can help.

National information for young carers
Carers Direct have videos, carers' stories and lots of useful info for young carers.

Carers UK is a charity set up to help the millions of people who look after an older, disabled or seriously ill family member or friend.

You can get lots of information and advice from the YCNet website. It has online forums, so you can chat to other young carers and share your experiences.

Childline are a charity offering support and advice to young people.
They have
lots of advice for young carers.
And you can also call their
helpline - tel 0800 1111.

The Children's Society provides information, advice and support for young carers across the country.

Barnardos provide support and information for young carers.

The Carers Trust's Young Carers website offers information for young carers.

You may know the singer Tulisa. But did you know that she spent much of her childhood looking after her mum who experienced mental health problems. In 2010 they made a film in which they talked about their experiences

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