Tag Archives: young carers

Young Carers Awareness Day Focused on Mental Health

Each year, national carers charity Carers Trust organises Young Carers Awareness Day, this year taking place on January 31st. The purpose of the day is to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by young people because of their caring role, and to campaign for greater support for young carers and their needs.

Young carers are more likely to suffer from poor mental health than their peers — so this year’s awareness day will focus on mental health.  Earlier this month we talked to one of the young adult carers we work with, Sue, who talked about her experience caring for her dad and the difference support from the Centre has made.

Sue said: “Friends don’t always understand that I can’t always go out, so I get called boring. I was happy to finally find support to help me feel less alone. The Carers’ Centre has helped my life change for the better.”

Here at the Carers’ Centre Young Carers Service we are responding to this need. We will be focusing more on young people’s mental health in 2019, by launching our new Positive Penguin group (starting this month for primary age young carers) as well as continuing the iCare peer support group, starting back later on in March.  These groups aim to offer a safe space for children and young people to discuss the pressures of caring, challenges they’re facing and to make friends with other young people who are in similar situations.

Continue reading Young Carers Awareness Day Focused on Mental Health

Fundraiser Stories: Bath & the Half give mental health boost to young runner

RUH Administrator Jess Sowton, 25, is running the Bath Half this year in aid of the Carers’ Centre. This is Jess’s second half marathon and she hopes to get close to a two hour run this time around. There’s still time to join Team Carers in this year’s Bath Half — sign up here!

Originally from Hampshire, Jess moved to Bath last year after struggling with her mental health and deciding to step out of her comfort zone.

“I realised that I wasn’t happy with where I was in life — I didn’t really know what I wanted from the future, my mental health was suffering, and I knew I wasn’t challenging myself and felt unsatisfied with everything,” says Jess.

Recent research (the Guardian) shows that more than one in four women aged 16-24 now report symptoms of common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety – a rise from 21% when the study was last carried out in 2007.

Jess felt an improvement in herself after the move.

“I moved out of my flat, left my job, and moved to a new city — enter Bath! I got myself a job and things just fell into place. It was a challenge in terms of pushing myself into so many new environments.

“I am lucky to have family and friends to support me, but by making myself face the fact that I needed to change my situation has made me so much more confident. I want to keep challenging myself to seek the best that I can get out of life.”

As well as uprooting her life, Jess found that exercise really helped her lift her mood and feel fitter and healthier.

Continue reading Fundraiser Stories: Bath & the Half give mental health boost to young runner

2 Ways to Improve Your Wellbeing this Autumn

by Lindsey Clay 

Update 18th September 2018: 

Due to demand we will now be offering an evening yoga and mindfulness 6 week  course, venues and dates the same but with a 6.00pm—7.30 pm time slot.

We are coming to the end of our lovely sunny weather and heading into the beautiful and colourful autumn season. Changes may be happening in our own lives, be it children going back to school, changes in jobs or changes in our own health and wellbeing or that of those we love.

Here at the Carer’s Centre we are always working to help improve the wellbeing of carers within our community through our services. Read on to find out what we’ve got going on…

1. Try our new course of gentle yoga and relaxation

A new 6 week  gentle yoga course on Monday afternoons 1:30pm to 3pm is starting on the 8th October at our Centre in Bath. This is a trial project, so depending on interest from carers we may be able to offer this in other locations around BaNES.

Yoga mats provided (which you can then take home at the end of the course if you wish to help you continue your practice at home).

The course will be lead by Jules Allen who has written a little note about herself below.

I am a Yoga, Relaxation and Mindfulness Teacher, and I work with various organisations across Bath and Bristol. I specialise in teaching yoga, relaxation and mindfulness to people who may be beginners, people who may have health and mobility issues as well as people who have regular wellbeing practices.

Take time to rest and a moment to breathe, stretch & move, meet new people and make new friends as well as everyday ideas, tools and tips for bringing more well-being into their lives.

Having been a young carer, an adult carer and also living with Rheumatoid Arthritis I practice various yoga and relaxation exercises every day and really have valued the overall effect that yoga, relaxation and mindfulness has had for me and with the people I have worked with.

Continue reading 2 Ways to Improve Your Wellbeing this Autumn

Budding Fundraiser Helps Raise Money for Young Carers

Finley with two of his helpers

After seeing the picture of the Carers’ Centre minibus with its tyres stolen, 7-year-old Finley knew he had to take action. He decided to hold a cake sale at his primary school in Bishop Sutton to raise funds for young carers and help get the bus repaired.

Finley’s family and school jumped on board with the idea, and with the help of the school PTA, Finley’s cake sale was a huge success. He raised £200 for the Carers’ Centre!

Finley said: “It was a lot of fun, lots of people helped and were really happy to come to the cake sale. I saw the photograph of the minibus and wanted to do something to help. The school does a lot of fundraising so I asked if we could do the cake sale for the Carers’ Centre.”

Finley’s mum Kate, who works at the Carers’ Centre, said:

“I’m really proud of him for deciding to do that for others and also very grateful of the PTA who helped massively both with time and effort baking. There were some amazing cakes on sale!”

Finley added: “Thank you to everyone for giving money and especially to everyone who donated the delicious cakes for the sale!”

We are super proud of Finley’s initiative and say a big thank you to him for his hard work.

Join Super Sonia on our Sponsored Walk

We are holding our second annual walk on April 21 and walkers may raise an eyebrow or two along the route. Fancy dress is being encouraged and our CEO Sonia will be donning a Superwoman outfit to lead the way.

Sonia says she hopes the walk will raise awareness of the Carers’ Centre’s work as well as funds.

‘It may seem silly walking in a fancy dress outfit, but as well as being fun it makes a real point. Often carers can be hidden in our society, tirelessly working to look after someone who is sick or disabled. We want to make them seen and ensure they get the acknowledgement and support they deserve.’

‘Obviously we’d also love to raise as much as possible but we also want people to get involved with their community, so all we’re asking is that people try to raise £25. Our walk in 2016 raised over £3,000 which was a great result for our first sponsored walk. We hope we can smash that target this year!’

With both 3 & 6 mile routes along the cycle path to Saltford, this family friendly event is accessible to all. The funds raised will make a real difference to local people who are caring for sick, disabled or frail loved ones.

The walk will also be an opportunity to say farewell to Sonia, who after eight years in post, is moving on from her role as Chief Executive. She is pursuing interests abroad but will stay on as a ‘distance fundraiser’ to continue writing bids and grant applications for the Centre. We are so glad Sonia can join us for the walk before she heads out on her next adventure!

To find out more about the walk, and sign up, click here or ring 01761 431 388

Guest Post: Hear from Young Carer Alex

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

My name is Alex and I am 12 years old. I help to care for my 10-year-old sister, Izzy, who has developmental delays. She is both great fun and very hard work. I love her very much, but there are times when I find caring for her very difficult and stressful. I would like to tell you about my experience of the Young Carers organisation and why I think it is so incredibly important.

Many young carers don’t have access to things most kids do, either because their parent or parents are busy looking after their sibling or because their parents themselves need looking after, so are physically unable to transport them, or supervise. This can result in missing out on a lot of things, which doesn’t feel great.

My life felt a lot harder when my sister and I were younger, because she needed constant help and I felt there wasn’t enough attention to go around. Right now it’s tougher for my 8-year-old brother, Toby, than it is for me. It’s easier to entertain yourself when you are older by, say, meeting your friends in town, and I can just bus myself there and back, but when you’re younger, you rely on your parents a lot more.

In my family, our lives revolve around my younger sister. Continue reading Guest Post: Hear from Young Carer Alex

Half of infant young carers under ten are suffering broken sleep to care for family members

Young carer with her sister

Thursday 25 January is Young Carers Awareness Day (YCAD), a national day of recognition for the 700,000 young carers in the UK who provide care and support to family and friends who are disabled, ill, elderly or misuse substances.

A snapshot survey released by charity Carers Trust today reveals a high proportion of infant young carers (aged 5 – 10) surveyed by the charity are regularly suffering from broken sleep to help look after unwell family members.

There are now nearly 10,000 young carers under the age of eight in England and Wales who perform unpaid caring duties, with the most recent Census in 2011 finding a shocking 83% increase in the amount of young carers aged 5-7 since 2001 (2).

Carers Trust CEO Giles Meyer says, “The findings from our survey reveal a harsh reality for the very youngest young carers in the UK today, almost half of whom are regularly being required to get up during the night in order to look after their unwell family members.

“It is a tragic situation that children who have barely started school are losing sleep which is so significant to their development, and in the night-time, being exposed to and handling issues such as their siblings or parents’ panic attacks or epileptic seizures when they should be getting important rest.” Continue reading Half of infant young carers under ten are suffering broken sleep to care for family members

Celebrating Carers 2017: Success!

AGM blogFriday, 13th of October was the day of our annual general meeting and Celebrating Carers awards ceremony. Despite the unlucky date, the evening was a great success and was much enjoyed by all attendees.

We are so fortunate to have our wonderful host, Ali Vowles, return to us again this year to really make the evening special. She is such a fantastic presenter and this year was no different, even when some of the script pages went wandering off! As always we are incredibly grateful for her support, so thank you Ali.

The evening was an opportunity to recognise some very special people who have supported the Carers’ Centre, carers in our community or indeed carers themselves who have achieved so much.

Our first winner was one you would have read about before; young carer Becca who looks after her mum. Since being featured on Comic Relief, Becca has used her platform to educate and inspire her peers and adults alike, putting together a presentation and role-play for her school to explain what it’s like to be a young carer.  It was fantastic to reward Becca for her efforts and hopefully inspire her to continue to educate her community for years to come.  Continue reading Celebrating Carers 2017: Success!

Young Carer Becca Featured on Comic Relief Red Nose Day

Becca RYoung carer Becca, 10, helps to look after her mum who has Fibromyalgia. The family, via the Carers’ Centre, were approached by the Comic Relief team who wanted to make a short film to capture what life is like for young carers — and we think they did brilliantly!

We are incredibly proud of Becca and all our young carers and hope this video can shed a little bit of light on what it’s like for young carers living in Britain today.

The film highlights the difference between Becca’s day and the day of one of her friends, Izzy, who isn’t a young carer.

As a thank you Comic Relief took Becca and her family to watch Blue Peter live!

Click here to watch Becca’s story.

Celebrating Carers 2016 – the results!

Celebrating2016_logoOur annual awards ceremony was held in October and once again the event was hosted by the fantastic Ali Vowles of the BBC. It was a chance to recognise our unsung heroes: carers, volunteers, and partners and to look back over what we’ve achieved this year.

The evening was made possible by the generosity of Sirona Care & Health and by our other wonderful sponsors; Bath College, Curo, Gerrard Financial Consulting, Gradwell Communications, Minuteman Press Bath and Way Ahead Care. Continue reading Celebrating Carers 2016 – the results!