Young Adult Carers aged 18-24

We understand some of you may have been caring for your parent or sibling for quite some time.

As you transition into adulthood, we just wanted you to know we are still here for you, to give you all the support you need.

  • You may experience isolation, difficulties coping at home or worries about how you will fit working or studying in with your caring responsibilities.
  • You may also have big decisions to make. For example, about going to university, or moving out of home.
  • You may have worries about how the person you’re caring for will cope if you do move out.

That’s where we come in, to help, guide and support you through everything you’re going through and help you to cope. We can also help you put plans in place so the person you’re caring for can cope when you’re not around, so you don’t have to put your ambitions and prospects on hold.

What makes you a 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 carer is someone 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.

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 Adult Carer Team about your caring role and how this makes you feel. Counselling is also available.  
  • Our wellbeing practitioner is available for individual wellbeing support.
  • Information, advice and guidance – you can talk to the Young Adult Carer Team at any time about anything you need help and advice with. 
  • Clubs, workshops and groups – where you can meet other young adult 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 put towards a gym membership, or to be able to study using 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 can join our open and closed groups on social media where you can meet new people, ask any questions and share any worries. 
  • Advice about getting a carers assessmentthe 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 education, work and your social life.

Your Skills

We hope you feel proud of yourself and all you do. As a young adult carer, you go through many experiences that other people your age do not have to face. Although life can be tough, and test you both mentally and physically, your caring experiences help you develop lifelong transferable skills, which can really help when you’re applying for a job or higher education. 

Your strengths you might not even realise you have are:  

  • You are kind. 
  • You are responsible. 
  • You are resilient. 
  • You are a leader. 
  • You are independent. 
  • You make decisions 
  • You can solve problems
  • You have understanding and empathy for other people. 

Find out more about being a young adult carer

Watch Shani’s story – Shani is a young adult carer, who supports her mum with severe depression. She began caring at a young age, but managed to go to university and is now part of our Young Carer Team. Her story shows a little support can go a long way.

How to get the support you need

Please contact the Young Carer Team on 0300 111 1919 or email young.team@carersinbeds.org.uk

Listen to the podcast series made by our young carers about the feelings and emotions they go through called Welcome to My World.