Do you help to look after someone at home?
If you are under the age of 18 and providing care to a family member who has a physical illness, disability, mental health, or a problem with alcohol or drugs then you are probably a young carer.
We know that being a young carer can be hard at times. You probably won’t have as much free time as your friends and feel worried about the person you look after at home, even when you’re not with them.
The first place you should call to see what help you can get is:
How we can support you
We work closely with your school to help them give you the right advice and support, like information on groups, activities, short breaks and counselling that might help.
We also know that caring responsibilities can be hard for you emotionally and you can get support and advice about that too.
As a young carer it is important you know that you have the right to:
- An assessment
- Be young people as well as carers
- Schools and colleges that give us the help we need to get an education
- Have fun, friends and time off from caring
- Practical help and support so that we don’t have to do all of the caring in our homes
- A safe environment and protection from harm, including any harm that caring activities could cause us
- Services that value our different backgrounds, cultures, religions, races and sexualities
- Be listened to and supported by the people who support our parents and siblings
- Be listened to and involved when people make decisions which affect our lives
- Move on and become independent adults.
If you register with Wigan & Leigh Young Carers (external link) you can get a carers discount card which will give you discounts at many shops and businesses across the borough.
Young carers, like you
You are not alone, there are lots of young carers in Wigan. Here are a few young carers who have been helped by talking about their situation.
Josh aged 10
After speaking to my teacher, she arranged for a gateway worker to do an assessment for me. My gateway worker contacted Dad’s social worker and we now have support at home. I don’t worry as much when I leave him now and I can concentrate on my work when I am in school.
Sophie aged 5
My school nurse got in touch with my local young carers project and I now go to one of their groups. I have made lots of friends who are going through similar things to me. She also arranged for me to have a counsellor which is good because I get to talk about how I feel.
Pete aged 15
Since speaking to my pastoral officer at school about my caring role, they have helped me a lot with my attendance and school work. They understand how things are for me now and have been very flexible in helping me manage things. I attend a lunch club now every other day and I am able to catch up on homework.