Tag Archives: young carers

Young carer has her say on leaving school and the difference support can make⤴

from @ Reach

Young carers do an amazing job juggling caring and school work, but it’s not always easy.
If you’re caring for someone at home, the right support can make all the difference in helping you get the most out of school. Young carer Lauren, who shares her story below, is a great example of this.
Got a story (good or bad) about what school’s been like for you as a young carer? What do YOU think schools can do to help young carers? Get in touch, we are here to listen and have useful advice about getting support… 


“My name is Lauren, I’m 18 years old, I’ve been supported by the Falkirk & Clackmannanshire Young Carers Project since I was in primary school and I’m in my last week of sixth year! I’m so excited to leave school, feeling as ready as ever to begin the next chapter at university. I’m only feeling ready to leave because of the amazing support I received at school for being a Young Carer.

Over the last three years I’ve had the support from the most amazing Pastoral teacher who has helped and guided me into the next path that I’m about to take and I’m forever grateful that I’ve had her support.

Until I started getting support from my pastoral head, I was in a horrible place at school, where I bottled up all my stress and worry about home life and life as a Carer and it was eating me up. One day I burst into tears in the middle of a class because I didn’t understand what was going on and the stress got too much for me. And that was my first encounter with my Pastoral.

Since then I’ve gone nowhere but upwards, achieving National 5s, Highers and even having a stab at an Advanced Higher, as well as getting a place at university. I’ve heard so many stories about young carers not receiving any support from school and I don’t know what I would do without my pastoral, she’s been my safety net more times than either of us imagined!

I can’t wait to leave school. Because of all the support I’ve had from school and from the Young Carers Project, I feel ready to experience university life while being a Young Adult Carer because I know who I can turn to. I’ll miss my Pastoral teacher so much when I leave, she’s been a rock and I’m forever grateful to her. Here’s to new beginnings!”

The post Young carer has her say on leaving school and the difference support can make appeared first on Reach.

Young carers’ views – feeling ok?⤴

from @ Reach

Image reproduced with permission of CYPCS office. Illustrator Jenny Capon.

Young carers in Scotland recently took part in a survey for the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland. They were asked about how their caring role made them feel. Caring is different for everyone – for a lot of young carers it means spending time with the person you care for and doing other jobs around the house to help.

The young people who took part said that there is more good than bad stuff about being a young carer – one young person explained that “coping with being a young carer is difficult, yes, but I feel proud that I’m making sure my family are okay”.  But on the down side, the more caring responsibilities you have, the more stressful life can feel. Getting enough sleep can be a problem too as you sometimes help out overnight – one young person said “I get really tired a lot and really depressed a lot“. Sadly, over half of the young people who took part in the research said that they sometimes felt they had difficulties that were piling up so high they felt like they could not overcome them.

One good thing that the research found out was that a lot of young carers like school, maybe because it gives you a break from caring. Also, that after young carers’ services, guidance teachers were the most likely to be the people that young carers could get support from. One young person summed up really well the kind of support that helps:

“More awareness from people around me on how I’m coping/what I deal with. People just to listen and try to understand, be more patient with me and more flexible with deadlines/pressures. Someone specific who I can talk to who won’t judge me and who will offer support and advice. More respite activities to get a break and to have fun, relax. Workshops to help me cope better – learn techniques, understand feelings and emotions in caring are normal and not to feel guilty”. 

Image reproduced with permission of CYPCS office. Illustrator Jenny Capon.


To find out more about the research, check out this infographic. 

Need advice or want to meet young people in the same boat as you? Babble is an online space where under 18s who are caring for a family member or friend can chat, share their stories and get info and advice.

The post Young carers’ views – feeling ok? appeared first on Reach.

Young carers in Glasgow have their say: “My friends don’t understand or don’t know the situation at home.”⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

Did you know? The Carers Trust reckons that there are about 100,000 young carers living in Scotland. That’s 100,000 young people who care for someone at home by taking on practical and/or emotional caring that would normally be done by an adult. It might be that their family member is disabled or has a long term health issue, or that they struggle with mental health issues, drug and alcohol problems. Whatever the reason they need support, young carers play an amazing role in helping their family.

Enquire recently did a workshop with an awesome bunch of young carers who are supported by the West Glasgow Carers Centre. They shared some really interesting and important views and ideas about the stuff that makes school hard for young carers and the support that helps. Here are just some of the things they said:

Issues for young carers with school


  • “I don’t have enough time to study while caring for someone at home”.
  • “A young carer might be worrying about the person they are caring for while trying to study”.
  • “I might be off school because of young caring. Might not understand  the work due to lack of attendance.”


  • “Might not be able to afford school trips or school lunches or the uniform”.
  • “People might not like young carers because of their clothes and shoes – they might have to walk about with old clothes (might get bullying because of it)”.
  • “We don’t have enough time to go out and buy stuff’.


  • “Not enough time to spend with friends due to caring”.”Might feel worried about leaving the person they care for at home. Might feel left out if can’t go”.
  • “My friends don’t understand or don’t know the situation at home. They might be embarrassed or find it hard to talk to me (if they knew)”.


  • “Might make young carers feel stressed – might result in taking drugs and alcohol”.
  • “Might not want to go to school – might feel different, depressed or anxious”.
  • “I’m too busy to talk to someone about it (the bullying)”.

What can help young carers have a better time at school?

  • ‘Money for equipment and school trips”
  • “Emotional help”
  • “Extra time for homework (and less work!)”
  • “Teacher tutoring so that if you miss a class they help you catch up”
  • “A ‘time out’ pass –  Getting time off school, or access to a quiet place to chill”
  • “Young carer awareness assembly”
  • “Getting home schooled instead”
  • “Help managing stress and with time keeping – flexible times and dates”
  • “Young carer support worker should always be in school for support”

A big thank you to all the young carers who shared their views with Enquire.

For advice and info check out YC.Net

MSYP has her say: How money issues affect young carers’ chances to get the most out of their education⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog


This week on the blog, a young carer called Lauren King who is part of the Scottish Youth Parliament talks about their campaign Care.Fair.Share. This is a campaign about helping make sure that issues with money don’t stop young carers getting the most out of school and being able to carry on their studies at college and university.

What do you do at the Scottish Youth Parliament? As MSYP for Motherwell and Wishaw, I am proud to speak up for young people and to have been a part of some very big moments which have shaped the future of our society, such as making equal marriage legal and votes at 16.

Why did you want to become an MSYP? I became an MSYP to make sure that young people have a voice and so that the young people from Motherwell and Wishaw have a say in decision making.

What is the Care.Fair.Share campaign about? There is a growing 100,000 strong army of young carers in Scotland – not to mention the young people who don’t identify themselves as being carers. These selfless children and young people do an amazing job, day in and day out to give support and care to their loved ones.

The Scottish Youth Parliament says that carers save the Scottish Government more than £10 billion every year through providing unpaid care. That is about the same as the total cost of the NHS in Scotland! And yet young carers often struggle with money. They have enough to worry about; they don’t need money issues as well.

What are SYP hoping to get out of the campaign? By getting as much support as possible, we can improve the lives of Scotland’s young carers. The campaign is looking at some of the key money issues for young carers, including: looking at who does and doesn’t get access to funding such as Educational Maintenance Allowance; more financial help for young carers struggling to afford further education; and ways to lessen the cost of travel for young carers to and from school and college.

Why do you think the campaign is important? This campaign is very close to my heart. As a young carer, I know first-hand how hard it is to care, be in education and hold down a job. It is stressful, and for many young carers it is almost impossible to do all three. I was very lucky as a young carer because my mum supported me through everything. I became an MSYP, finished school, got into university and got a job, from all of which I did things I could have only dreamt about! These chances have been life changing for me. However, I know that in reality many other young carers do not have these chances.

This only makes me want to work even harder to stand up for this cause and make sure that a real difference is made to young carers. By helping young carers with the issues they have with money in education, I really believe their lives will get better in many different ways!

How can other people support the campaign? There is still lots to do. We need your support to be able to bring about lasting change for Scotland’s young carers.

Find out how you can support the Care.Fair.Share. campaign by checking out the SYP website here.

There’s a cool youtube video about the campaign too.





New SYP campaign for young carers: Care. Fair. Share.⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

Did you know?

  • 1 in 10 young people are involved in helping to care for someone at home.
  • 13,000  young carers in the UK care for over 50 hours a week.
  • Young adult carers aged 16 to 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment, or training.

In recent years Enquire have been raising awareness about some of the challenges that young carers face trying to keep up with their learning – young carers in the Highlands created an awesome drama for us which was shown at our conference a few years ago, and we’ve also covered the issues on our blog a few times, like in this interview we did with West Lothian young carers. We also recently launched our guide What happens when you can’t go to school?, which includes info on support for young carers who are having to miss school because they are too busy caring for their loved one. 

So we are delighted that the Scottish Youth Parliament have chosen to highlight education issues for young carers this year in their Care. Fair. Share. campaign. They’ve made an ace film about the campaign which is well worth a watch.


The film looks at how young carers who are studying often find it hard to juggle their caring role with their studies. This doesn’t just happen at school, but at college and university too: the National Union of Students reckons that 56% of students with a caring role seriously consider leaving their course because they are finding it too hard to keep up with studies.

The film also looks at issues that young carers have with lack of money. Young carers have told Enquire that money issues can make it hard to take part in school trips and buy school uniform and books. The SYP campaigners are also saying that lack of money can make it hard to travel in between school and home so you can fulfil your caring role, and that more funding should be available to young carers to make it easier for them to continue with studies at college and university.

The Scottish Youth Parliament is “a little bit about politics, and a lot about you”. To find out more and how you can support the campaign visit the Care. Fair. Share website.

Challenge Poverty Week – Children and young people’s views⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

To mark Challenge Poverty Week this week, Enquire are shining a spotlight on some of the views that children and young people have shared with us over the last few years about how experiencing disadvantage impacts on them at school and the support that helps.

Speaking to children supported by Shelter Scotland a while ago, who sadly are no strangers to poverty, a big issue raised was that if you’ve had to move house a lot and have changed schools, then “it can be hard to get the school uniform”. One young person suggested to Enquire that they thought schools should sell second hand uniforms that would be cheaper to buy.

Doing homework could be difficult, the kids at Shelter thought, when there’s “no space in the house” and when you don’t have access to a computer. They felt that “getting a break from brothers and sisters” and “having my own room” would really help make it easier to do homework. Another young person said that going to the local library to use the computer there had helped her too.

Another problem that one of the young people we spoke to at Shelter talked about was having to spend lunch money on getting the bus to school because they lived too far to walk – one young person thought it would good if there was funding to help with travel costs. The young folk also said it was really helpful when the council helped pay for a taxi to school or put on a school bus.

These issues around money have been brought up by other young people too. Young carers we spoke to at the Young Carers Festival felt that the cost of school trips made it hard for young carers to go. ‘You had to pay £40 at my school to go to Alton Towers, which was too much’, one said.

One big message coming across from lots of young people we have spoken to is how important it is for schools and families to talk to each other about difficulties at home so that the school can try to help. As one girl said, “mum needs to be open with the school about what’s going on at home.”

Looking for more advice? Child Poverty Action Group have an advice line which is open Monday – Friday 10am – 12 noon. Call 0141 552 0552.





Away from school because you are caring for someone at home?⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

There have been some ace events going on all over Scotland this week for Carers’ Week 2013.

Meanwhile in the Enquire office, we have been putting the final touches to our new guide for young people, ‘What happens when you can’t go to school?’.

One of the reasons why you might be away from school is because you need to care for someone at home who has an illness, a disability or who is affected by a mental health issue or a problem with drugs or alcohol. You might be helping them to take medicine or get dressed and washed, you might be giving them emotional support, or maybe you’re doing extra things to help out at home like cooking, shopping and looking after your brothers and sisters. These things can take time and might make it difficult for you to be at school as often as your friends. You might find it hard to keep up with the school work and it could be difficult to make friends and concentrate in lessons if  you are worrying about home.

It can be hard to talk to teachers, but if you are struggling with school because of your caring role then it’s really important for them to know. Your school must help you so you can carry on with your learning and get the most out of it.

Our new guide has examples of the support you might get – it will depend on what your needs are. You might need extra time to do your work, or help accessing learning resources at home, or a different timetable that fits in better with what you do at home.

To reserve a copy of our new guide, get in touch with us today. You can also call our helpline on 0845 123 2303 or email us at info@enquire.org.uk if you want advice about getting extra support if you are away from school for a long time or not at school often.

The Young Carers Net website has a really good section on school and college too. Check out their suggestions of ways that teachers might be able to help.

Last but not least, check out this ace film that was made at the Scottish Young Carers Festival a couple of years ago. In it, young carers talk about their issues and experiences and stuff that has helped them.

Your views are important to us!⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

Maybe you’ve already seen our guides such as ‘Getting ready to leave school’ and ‘Going to a new school’? We are writing two new guides just now. They will be called ‘Extra help at school when you are looked after’ and ‘What happens when you can’t go to school?’

We always like to ask young people what they think when we are developing new guides. Your views are important to us as you know what works best for you.



Jeni from Enquire met with some young people from the Edinburgh Young Carers’ Project and the Maben Residential Unit to ask what they thought of the new guides.

They looked at the words, the colours, the cartoon characters and the design of the guides and came up with lots of great ideas.

Jeni says: “The young people I spoke to had lots of fantastic ideas about how we could make the guides better. I’m very grateful that I had the chance to listen to them and hear their views. They thought of things we hadn’t, like how important it is to get enough sleep and how this can make learning difficult. They thought the guides should be bright and cheerful with lots of images of young people they can relate to. I hope the guides will be more useful now. They belong to young people!”

Thanks a lot to all the young people who gave us their ideas!

We will let you know when the new guides are ready. In the meantime if you would like to look at our other guides for young people click here.