Are you under 18 and looking after someone in your family who is ill or disabled? This may be a parent, a brother or sister or a grandparent. Maybe you help by staying at home a lot to be there for them, helping them get washed or dressed, translating and interpreting for them, or doing lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking?
If this sounds like you, then you are a young carer. It may seem a strange way to describe yourself, because looking after someone in your family may feel like a natural role. But being a carer means you have a right to help and support to make life easier.
LOOKING AFTER SOMEONE CAN BE STRESSFUL
It can be stressful as well as hard work looking after someone, even when you love them. And it can make it harder to keep up with things at school or to find time for yourself to relax, have fun or see your friends.
WHO ARE YOUNG CARERS?
Young carers are children and young people who look after or help another family member who is disabled. physically or mentally ill, or has a substance misuse problem. They carry out, often on a regular basis, significant or substantial caring tasks, taking on a level of responsibility that is inappropriate to their age or development.
In Islington, we define young carers as being up to the age of 25.
WHAT SUPPORT IS THERE FOR YOUNG CARERS IN ISLINGTON?
Islington Carers Hub works with young adult carers age 18 – 25. We also work in partnership with Family Action Islington with 17 year olds who are in transition between services. Please see our Services section for more information.
Family Action Islington support young carers up to their 18th birthday providing one-to-one support, groups and activities.
You can get in touch with Family Action by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 020 7272 6933
Family Action Islington
Young Carers Service
608 Holloway Road
London N19 3PH
HELP FROM THE COUNCIL
You are also entitled to get help and support from the Council. They will ask you what sort of support you would like to make your life and your caring role easier. You can contact social services directly – or ask someone from the Young Carers Project to sort this out for you. Don’t be afraid to ask – it is important to get the help you are entitled to!
– Visit the Council’s Young carers’ website
– You can phone social services on 020 7527 2299
HELP FROM THE NHS
You can also visit Carers Direct. They have videos, carers stories and lots of useful info for young carers.
OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE YOU
You can also get lots of information and advice from the YCNet website. It has online forums, so you can chat to other young carers.