Young Carers aged 13-17
We understand as a young carer you face many challenges and have to do more than other teenagers your own age.
We understand that your friends may not realise the responsibilities you have to undertake or the pressure you’re under. You may experience isolation, difficulties coping at home, problems at school or lack of social experiences.
That’s where we come in, to help guide and support you through everything you’re going through and help you to cope.
What makes you a young carer?
You might not realise it, as you are just doing what you do for a family member, but you are known as a carer.
A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, such as a sibling or parent, or a friend, who
- has a long-term illness such as cancer,
- is disabled,
- has a learning disability or neurological condition such as being on the autism spectrum or having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
- has mental health issues, or
- are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
There are around 700,000 young carers in the UK.
What do you do to look after them?
These are the types of tasks you undertake which make you a carer:
- Helping with cooking, cleaning and shopping.
- Helping with physical care, such as helping someone out of bed.
- Emotional support, including talking to someone who is distressed.
- Helping to manage the family budget or collect prescriptions.
- Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
- Helping to give medicine.
- Helping someone communicate.
What we can do to help support you?
We understand you may need some help, to ensure you look after yourself and your wellbeing. If you don’t look after you, then you won’t be able to look after anyone else. We can offer:
- One to one support – where you can talk to the Young Carer Team about your caring role and how this makes you feel. Counselling is also available.
- Help at school – we can come into your school to help support you.
- Information, advice and guidance – you can talk to the Young Carer Team at any time about anything you need help and advice with. Link to how to contact the team.
- Clubs, workshops and groups – where you can meet other young carers in a similar situation, make new friends and talk about any worries.
- Carers Grant – this is money you can apply for to be able to pay for something which will help improve your health and how you feel. For example, getting your hair or nails done, or to allow you to take part in a hobby or activity like going camping, or to be able to do your school work on new technology.
- Carers ID card – you can use it as proof you are a carer and to help you get discounts at local shops and leisure venues.
- Social media groups – you and your family can join our closed groups on social media where you can meet new people, ask any questions and share any worries.
- Advice about getting a young carers assessment – the assessment will consider the impact the care and support you provide is having on your own wellbeing, as well as other aspects of your life, like school and seeing your friends.
Please note our services for young carers are for those who live in Bedford Borough.
If you live in Central Bedfordshire:
– Contact Central Bedfordshire Council which run the service for young carers
– Young carers in Central Bedfordshire can still apply for a Carers Grant and ID card from us and attend Zoom virtual groups.
– Young adult carers can access our support in Central Bedfordshire, once they turn 18.
View a video made by the Carers Trust about the importance of young carers looking after their mental health and why it’s so important you get the support you need.
We hope you feel proud of yourself and all you do. As a young carer, you go through many experiences that other young people don’t have to face. Although life can be tough, and test you both mentally and physically, your caring experiences help you develop lifelong transferable skills. Caring helps you to develop into an even more awesome human being, to what you already are.
Your superhero strengths you might not realise you have are:
- You are kind.
- You are responsible.
- You are resilient (being able to bounce back from a difficulty).
- You are a leader.
- You are independent (think for yourself).
- You can solve problems.
- You make decisions.
- You have understanding and empathy for other people (you think about other people’s feelings).
How to get the support you need
Please contact the Young Carer Team on 0300 111 1919 or email
Life as a young carer
Here’s a taster of what life is like as a young carer, you can listen to the entire podcast series in the link below.