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Young carers’ voices are heard

Friday, December 16, 2016

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A GROUP of young people from across Stockton-on-Tees were handpicked by government to share first-hand their experiences of caring for a family member.  

The four young people, aged from 14 to 17 years, travelled to London after being invited to meet with the office of the Children’s Commissioner, whose role it is to promote and protect children’s rights in England.

Staff working for the Children’s Commissioner asked the young people from Eastern Ravens Trust in Stockton what services and support is available for young carers locally and what parts of their lives are affected by their caring role. They were also asked to give examples of some of the positives of being a young carer.

The group agreed it was a great opportunity to have their say and were pleased that children and young people from across the country had been invited to express their views.

One of those who took part was Bailey Shaw, 16, from Norton, who said: “It’s so important for young people, and especially young carers, from the north of England to be given the opportunity to have their voices heard. It’s easy to feel like we are ignored by the Government but talking to the commissioner’s team made us feel like we can influence national policies, and make a difference.”

Councillor Ann McCoy, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: “I can think of no better people than the young carers from Eastern Ravens Trust to help the Children’s Commissioner get a taste of what matters to young people who look after a family member.  Their passion and commitment to help raise the profile of young carers, share their experiences and help others in the same position is second to none.”