This article was written by a young person from Wigan.
Looking after a member of family, like babysitting or minding them for the afternoon can sometimes be fun. But some young people need to look after someone close to them all the time. This can be very hard work, it is called being a young carer.
Did you know: JLS band member, Oritse Williams was a young carer for his mum, who has Multiple Sclerosis.
What does a young carer do?
A young carer is a young person, under 18 years old, who cares for a member of their family. This could be because your relative has a disability, mental health illness or might have an addiction such as drugs or alcohol.
Young carers are outstanding young people as they work very hard to help and support their loved ones. If you’re a young carer and haven’t told anyone that you are, it would be a good idea to tell an adult you trust, such as a teacher or youth worker. They will be able to find out what support you could get to help you out.
It can sometimes be hard for young carers to enjoy any free time or even get any time to themselves.
If you are a young carer and need some support, advice and a little bit of time to yourself, there are many services out there that would like to give you some help.
Remember: It isn’t giving up on your loved ones by asking for help, it’s giving you some time to just chill as a young person.
What help can I get?
- Wigan & Leigh Carers Centre (external link) holds many activity days you can attend which are advertised on their website. They also have a special page for Young Carers which has a number for a Young Carers Worker who can provide you with more support.
- Friends of Young Carers is a charity that has set up after school clubs in Ashton, Golborne, Leigh and Wigan that take young carers bowling, to the cinema and provide many activity days. It’s a good chance to meet other young carers and talk to other young people who understand what it’s like to be a young carer. They even have a holiday home in Blackpool that can be booked at a discounted rate for young carers to have a little holiday with their family members. You can call them on 07546 487063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.