If you're thinking of getting involved in our campaigns you might be wondering: can I actually make a difference?
Our experience leaves us in no doubt as to the answer: yes, undoubtedly.
With the help of our supporters we've already delivered some remarkable changes for carers. And our momentum is building. More and more politicians are realising the invaluable contribution played by carers and the need to take action on their behalf.
By supporting us you'll be joining a movement that’s already delivered success – and has the chance to achieve even more.
Recent Carers Trust campaign successes:
- Campaign for a UCAS tick box for carers
- On the Map
- Transform our mental health
- More support for young carers in education
- New rights for adult carers
- Changing the law for young carers
- Think Carer 2017
In July 2016, we were able to secure an important change for young adult carers thinking about going on to further education.
We had been asking UCAS (Undergraduate Courses At University And College) for a tick box on their university application forms since 2014, which would prompt young adult carers to identify themselves. In February 2016, student carer Carol Hayward, 21, started a campaign calling for this change and Carers Trust backed it.
Within six weeks, the campaign had received more than 2,500 signatures in support and UCAS responded, saying that a new tick box will be launched with their re-developed Apply form in 2018.
A question that allows applicants to identify as a carer was added to application forms for postgraduate courses in June 2018, and will be available to those applying to undergraduate courses starting in 2021 within a new application system launching in 2020. Carers Trust remains in contact with UCAS to ensure progress and implementation of the new question.
The On the Map campaign gathered information about what local councils are doing in terms of finding young adult carers and telling them about their rights to information and support.
You can still view our map that shows what local councils are doing.
What we achieved:
- We heard from 1 in 6 councils about how they will identify young adult carers
- Showed the progress across the UK to recognise the rights of young adult carers
We know that a high number of young carers and young adult carers experience mental health problems. In a survey of nearly 300 young adult carers, 45% reported they had a mental health problem.
Over just four weeks hundreds of campaigners took action online to support the Transform Our Mental Health campaign. They called on the people in charge of local NHS services to recognise that young carers and young adult carers are in need of extra help when it comes to their own mental health.
Young carers and young adult carers launched the report at the first ever discussion of the topic in the Houses of Parliament.
In the 2015 general election we asked our supporters to send their local candidates an email asking them to #ThinkCarer2015. The results were remarkable.
More than 330 candidates in the general election took a pledge to use their position in parliament to support carers.
In 2015 we secured a major win for young carers.
We carried out research, in partnership with the University of Nottingham, which highlighted the worrying lack of support available to young carers in colleges and university.
Spurred on by this research OFFA (the Office for Fair Access) decided to make a significant intervention, calling on all universities and colleges to improve the support they offer to young carers.
Before 2014, the laws surrounding carers were pretty vague. Some help was in place but it was contained in lots of different acts and it failed to give carers the quality support they deserve.
We knew this situation couldn’t continue so we set about to change it.
Joining forces with a number of other charities we pressured the government to finally introduce a law specifically designed to help carers. In 2014, the government delivered: the Care Act was introduced.
There are an estimated 700,000 young carers in the UK. Many of these are as young as 5 and yet they are providing levels of care that could only normally be expected of an adult.
We see it as our job to make sure that the role these young carers are providing is recognised, valued, and supported.
That's why we teamed-up with the National Young Carers Coalition (NYCC) to push for a new law dedicated to giving young carers the rights they deserve. Thousands of young carers across the country took a stand and contacted their MP asking them to help.
Together, we achieved a legislative breakthrough: the introduction of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Read more about the support for young carers and young adult carers in England in our free guide called Know your Rights.