CARERS: Children must not miss out

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As children and young people start returning to school and university, for young carers the school holidays were often not the relaxing break enjoyed by their peers.

With many doing up to 30 hours of caring each week, looking after mums and dads, brothers and sisters, they simply don’t have time to be care-free or catch up on schoolwork.

Barnardo’s supports almost 3,500 young carers and their families every year through our specialist support services.

Our recent Young Carers Report shows that over a third of young carers said that going back to school was a particularly difficult time for them because of their carer role, doing practical jobs such as cooking, housework and shopping, along with physical and emotional care.

Most worryingly, 40 per cent said that being a young carer resulted in them not being able to do their schoolwork properly.

Schools, communities, neighbours, employers and organisations like Barnardo’s all need to help young carers to complete their education to the best of their ability and, where they want to, go on to further or higher education.

Looking after family members is something our young carers are incredibly proud of, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of their childhoods, or their futures.

Steve Oversby,

Barnardo’s East Region Director