We know that young adult carers are at a disadvantage because of their caring role. Although some colleges and sixth forms are doing excellent work in terms of supporting young adult carers, this is by no means the majority.
That is why Carers Trust has launched the Better Bursary campaign. We want every young adult carer in college and sixth form to be identified and to receive the support they need to thrive.
Many young adult carers report that they are ashamed or embarrassed to talk to staff about their caring role and that there is ‘no point’ in speaking up because they do not see any impact. The inclusion of all young adult carers in the 16- 19 bursary would give young adult carers a strong incentive to make themselves known to staff. It is up to staff to submit the forms for the 16-19 bursary on behalf of students, so applying would create an opportunity for staff and young adult carers to discuss what support could benefit them.
Young adult carers also worry about how they will fund their time at college or sixth form. Unlike school, they do not necessarily qualify for additional entitlements such as free school meals or reduced rates of travel. Choosing education over employment adds to an already stretched family budget.
Sophie Parr, Campaigns and Policy Officer (Young Carers and Young Adult Carers) at Carers Trust said: “I passionately believe that every young person should have the opportunity to take part fully in education and training. Ensuring that all young adult carers are identified and supported is vital. Without it, young adult carers will continue to fall behind in their studies and perform worse academically than their peers. The Better Bursary campaign is key to ensuring every young adult carer can fulfil their aspirations.”
We need your help to make the Better Bursary campaign a success. Ask your MP to let the government know how important the 16-19 bursary is to young adult carers future.
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."