Carers Trust calls on UK businesses to help support young carers into the workplace

  • Young carers need support: 67% of young carers and 78% of young adult carers are more worried about the future since coronavirus.
  • UK employers, including People’s Postcode Lottery, Quilter plc and Bloom & Wild already working with Carers Trust to recognise the skills of younger carers and support them into the workplace. 
  • Young carers point to skills they have developed through caring that are highly valuable to employers – such as time-management skills, resilience, sense of responsibility and empathy.

Carers Trust and young carers are calling on employers across the UK to recognise the special skills young people with caring responsibilities develop as part of their caring role, and how employers can do more to support young carers in bringing these skills to the workplace.  

The call is being made for Young Carers Action Day, an annual event organised by Carers Trust to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by young carers, and the huge contribution they make to their family’s wellbeing. The theme for this year’s Young Carers Action Day is Protect Young Carers’ Futures.  

Carers Trust is also calling on governments across the UK to commit to developing new cross-cutting action plans to protect the futures of children and young people with caring responsibilities.  

Support for young carers is needed more urgently than ever before due to the impact of coronavirus. A recent Carers Trust survey found 58% of young carers who are caring for longer as a result of the pandemic and lockdown are spending  on average an additional ten hours a week or more on their caring role. The same survey found two thirds (67%) of young carers aged 12 to 17, and 78% of young adult carers aged 18 to 25 were experiencing increased concern for their futures since Coronavirus.  

Megan, aged 20 is young adult carer who has been caring for her mum since she was twelve.  Back at home during the pandemic she is caring more, while studying, and has just found a new part-time job.   Megan says:

 “To all the other young carers out there I would say being a young carer does not define me.  Yes, I provide care, but my mum’s disabilities aren’t mine, and you can be whatever you want to be.   There is help out there, you just need to find it.

“My experience as a carer for my family means I’m resourceful, I can make a meal from almost anything from scratch.  I have good time management skills and a great work ethic.  Because I’ve had to talk to so many professionals I’m confident with employers and in the work place.

“I know I’m capable, I want to do so many things, other young carers need to know nothing needs to hold them back.”

Young adult carers have found what they have learnt as a carer has helped in the workplace, in this video, courtesy of the Carers Support Centre in South Gloucestershire, they outline the skills they developed as a young carer, and how the experience has been useful at work.

What are employers doing already to support young carers? 

With funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Carers Trust is building an internship training programme for young people with caring responsibilities. 

Welcoming today’s launch of the internship programme, Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: 

“I’m delighted that support from players is helping Carers Trust launch their Young Carers Action Day campaign today.  New opportunities are opening up to young carers and by helping to develop a new internship programme, funding raised by players is being invested in the future of young carers.” 

Other businesses that have pledged to support young carers include the wealth management company, Quilter plc, and the leading online florist, Bloom & Wild: 

  • Quilter plc and The Quilter Foundation will support young carers through funding and employee-led skills workshops. Quilter plc CEO Paul Feeney has recorded a special video recognising the special skills young carers develop and calling on other employers to support young carers. 
  • Bloom & Wild, the UK's most loved online florist, is supporting Carers Trust to raise awareness this Young Carers Action Day and beyond. Alongside fundraising for the charity, the brand is showcasing the stories of young carers and throughout the year will host a number of invaluable workplace insight opportunities for young carers. 

Employers can find out more about how to sign up to support young carers and what is involved by visiting the Carers Trust employers’ page. 

 ENDS 

Young carers and expert spokespeople from Carers Trust, including CEO Gareth Howells, as well as People’s Postcode Lottery, Quilter and Bloom & Wild are available for interview on request.  

For further information, and to arrange interviews, please contact: 

Sophie Beyer on sbeyer@carers.org and 07712 427808.

Notes to Editor: 

Who are young carers? 

Young carers are young people spending a significant amount of time each day caring for a family member unable to look after themselves due to a long term illness, disability, mental health problem or substance addiction.  

Young carers can be as young as six. Young people with caring responsibilities aged 18 to 25 are called ‘young adult carers’. 

It is estimated there are over 1 million young carers in the UK. 

Young Carers Action Day is an annual event led and organised by Carers Trust. This year Young Carers Action Day takes place on 16 March. The day aims to raise awareness of the pressures experienced by young carers – children and young people who care for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. 

About our work with employers to Protect Young Carers’ Futures 

We have developed three key steps employers can take to remove barriers blocking young carers’ paths into work and to make their workplaces suitable for young carers as they move into the working world.  

Taking these steps not only helps us create brighter futures for young people with caring responsibilities. It will also widen your talent pool, giving you greater access to young people willing to develop the skills they have already learned as young carers and put them to practice in your business or organisation.  

  1. Visibility: We call on employers to normalise conversations around caring, and for employees to share their own caring journey.  
  2. Recognition: We call on employers to acknowledge and recognise the skills that young and young adult carers can bring to the workplace. 
  3. Opportunities: We call on employers to offer opportunities to help young carers to start their career journey, building aspirations and skills and improving pathways to employment. This could be through updating existing programmes to become more inclusive for carers, or through tailored activities and programmes for young carers, such as career insights days and skills workshops. 

Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers. We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.  www.carers.org   

We do this with a UK wide network of quality assured independent partners and through the provision of grants to help carers get the extra help they need to live their own lives. With locally based Network Partners we are able to support carers in their homes through the provision of replacement care, and in the community with information, advice, emotional support, hands on practical help and access to much needed breaks. We offer specialist services for carers of people of all ages and conditions and a range of individual tailored support and group activities.  

Our vision is that unpaid carers count and can access the help they need to live their lives.  

Topics

UK / Young Carers Action Day / Young adult carers / Young carers / employment

 

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