The findings come as Carers Trust launches Britain’s Best Breakfast, its first ever national fundraising campaign, to help raise money to support unpaid carers and give them a break from their caring role, and to encourage people to wake up to the realities of caring. There are seven million carers in the UK and three in five of us will become a carer at some point in our lives.
The report also revealed that the physical and mental health of young adult carers is suffering, with almost four in ten (38%) reporting having a mental health problem and 29% describing their own physical health as “just ok”.
Iona, a young adult carer aged 18 from Helensburgh was bullied at school: “The bullying started in primary school and went all the way through secondary. It was verbal not physical but it was relentless. At first, I stopped going out as much, then I stopped going out altogether. My attendance at school suffered and it affected all of my future plans. The abuse affected me mentally and I found it very difficult to cope. I felt things started to fall out of place, rather than into place for me.”
Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust comments: “We know from talking to carers that caring does affect physical and mental health. It is bad enough to hear this from adult carers but to hear this from children and young people is truly shocking.”
She continued: “Returning to study after the summer break can be daunting for many young people but imagine being a young carer or a young adult carer who not only has to get themselves ready for school, often having been woken through the night, but also has to get the person that they care for, and possibly other family members ready, for the day ahead. And then having finally reached school, to know that it’s not a safe place to be because of the bullying.
“Many young carers tell us that they are exhausted even before they get to school or college. This means that they are tired and less likely to concentrate on school work. They often struggle with finding the time to do homework too and we know that YACs between 16 and 18 years old are twice as likely to not be in education, employment or training. And of course, our report shows that many of them are bullied, making life as a young carer very very difficult.”
The campaign will encourage people to hold a breakfast event in October 2014 for their friends and family and raise money for Carers Trust. For more information about the campaign text egg to 70660 or visit www.britainsbestbreakfast.org
Carers Trust response to new BBC young carer survey data
Giles Meyer, CEO of Carers Trust, said:
“This new data blows all previous figures out of the water, revealing a generation of young carers who are being neglected by society."