Voices of young adult carers Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 09:59
Voices of young adult carers gives a personal account of each of the young adult carers (aged between 16 and 25), focusing on their caring role and the impact that caring has had on their lives and particularly on their ability to take part in learning. All of the stories have been written by the individual carers in their own words.
Each of the eight stories gives an honest and realistic account of what life is like as a young adult carer. One carer thinks that the role they have is "a hard job but it's the best job ever", another says that, "being a carer has definitely affected my learning...some days my mother is too ill for me to go", while another states that, "once I made my school, college and university aware...they were supportive". It is hoped that these stories will not only give hope and support to other young adult carers, but will also encourage providers and policy-makers to help all carers gain access to the learning they both want and need.
Lord Listowel, who wrote the foreword for Voices of young adult carers, says:
"There are nearly a quarter of a million young people who say they are young adult carers - young people, aged 16-25, who have unpaid responsibility for caring for someone - in the UK. In reality there will be many, many more. They may have started caring when they were as young as five or six; they may be caring for a parent or grandparent, or sibling. They may be running the family home, sorting out medicines and hospitals and caring for younger siblings. And all this while trying to go to school or college, have a social life and be thinking about growing up and wondering what their future holds. They experience lots of difficulties - isolation, lack of social networks, poor health, poverty and low confidence."
We want all young adult carers to have access to the support they need to be able to access learning, which would help them to lead more fulfilling lives, around their caring responsibilities.
"Our children or grandchildren or siblings could become a young adult carer tomorrow if something happened to us. We want all young adult carers to have access to the support they need to be able to access learning, which would help them to lead more fulfilling lives, around their caring responsibilities. We want policy makers and providers to recognise and make possible the transformational effects of learning for them. Offering chances to these young people, with care and guidance, with consideration for their needs can give them the opportunity to develop their skills, and think about a more positive future."
Nicola Aylward, NIACE Programme Manager for Young Adults, said:
"NIACE believes that the most powerful advocates for effective learning and support are young adult carers themselves; the stories included here highlight this. We hope that these stories will encourage and inspire other young adult carers, and that they will enable practitioners and policymakers to gain a deeper understanding of young adult carers' experiences and needs."