See how you've already made a difference to the lives of carers through campaigning.

Campaigning for carers

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

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 September 2018.

Why this matters to carers

Half of young adult carers report that they are struggling with their studies because of their caring role, with 16% say they may drop out of education. Now that educational establishments will be given information on potential student carers, they will be able to support students and help to lower these figures.

Young adult carers will now have the option to identify themselves on their UCAS applications to universities, giving universities the chance to support carers and give them extra information during their application process.

On the Map

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

Why this matters to carers

More of the people planning services know about the importance of identifying young adult carers in their area.

We also now know about the range of plans councils have in place to improve local support for young adult carers.

Transform our mental health

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.

Read our report about improving the mental health of young carers in England

Young carers and young adult carers launched the report at the first ever discussion of the topic in the Houses of Parliament.

Why this matters to carers

In the last year we have seen plans for better support for young carers' and young adult carers' mental health as recommended in the Carers Trust report, Invisible and In Distress.

We're now continuing to work with universities and colleges to demonstrate to them what improved support for young carers means – and can achieve – in practice.

Hundreds of candidates pledge to #ThinkCarer2015

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.

Why this matters to carers

It just goes to show what an important and valued role carers play in our society that so many politicians want to support our campaign.

Being in touch with so many members of parliament has provided us with the perfect basis to influence government policy and secure the changes we need for carers.

More support for young carers in education

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.

Why this matters to carers

Not only will this mean that young carers will receive the help they need to manage their studies around their caring responsibilities. It’s also the start of a major shift in encouraging higher education institutions to recognise that carers are an important and valued part of their student community.

We’re now continuing to work with universities and colleges to demonstrate to them what improved support for young carers means – and can achieve – in practice.

New rights for adult 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.

Why this matters to carers

The Act has transformed the rights of carers. It gives every single carer in the country the right to have their needs for support assessed by their local council. It also states that councils now have a duty to promote the 'wellbeing' of carers – basically, to give carers the support they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

We've gone from a situation where support for carers was patchy and uncertain to one where carers’ rights have been enshrined and protected in a single law and we think that’s worth celebrating.

Changing the law for young carers

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. 

Why this matters to carers

For the first time ever, young carers will be protected by the law. As a result of the Act, Young carers have been put on the same legal footing as adult carers, provided with the same rights, and the same levels of support.

Young carers need no longer slip through the net without help and support or be left to grapple with their caring responsibilities on their own.

Read more about the support for young carers and young adult carers in England in our free guide called Know your Rights.