A Stockton-on-Tees Borough charity which supports young carers is launching a special identification card on national Young Carers Awareness Day.
Eastern Ravens Trust is introducing the card to help young people who regularly provide ongoing care and emotional support to a family member get the support and advice they need more easily and without having to repeatedly explain their circumstances or family situation.
The card, which is the size of a credit card will list the young person’s name, school, college or training provider and will have a photograph on the front. The back of the card is signed by a member of staff from the Young Carers Support Service to verify the young person is a young carer.
The cards will be issued to young carers aged 11 to 17 years following an assessment and will help young carers identify themselves in school, college, GP surgeries, youth centres, supermarkets and other places young carers may need to go for support and advice.
The Young Carers Card is supported jointly by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who jointly commission the Young Carers Service.
Councillor Ann McCoy, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Young carers play a really important role across the Borough but they often face stress and anxiety due to their caring responsibilities. We hope these cards will support their emotional health and wellbeing and prevent them from having to repeat themselves or explain their family situations.”
Tracey Hamilton, Eastern Ravens Trust Manager, said: “Caring for family members can often have a negative effect on young carers which results in them feeling tired and stressed. Young carers can also become socially isolated and lack confidence which impacts greatly on their educational ability. The Young Carers Card is designed to support young carers and enable them to ask for help, where needed, to prevent a crisis from occurring.
“We know that educational and health care professionals are in an excellent position to identify young carers. By working together and promoting the young carers card we hope we will be able to help those who need our help at the earliest stage and encourage hidden young carers to come forward.”
Dr Helen Murray, local GP and workstream lead for NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The CCG is delighted to be working alongside our colleagues in social care to support young carers in this way. Caring for family members can be challenging and we hope that these cards have a positive impact.”
Anyone wanting more information about Eastern Ravens Trust or the support available to young carers across the Borough can contact 01642 678454 or email [email protected]
This year Young Carers Awareness Day is on 28 January. It is a national day of recognition for the 700,000 young carers in the UK who work around the clock providing care and support to family and friends.
Eastern Ravens Trust will be active on social media throughout Young Carers Awareness Day and will be uploading messages of support from local services. Visit www.facebook.com/Eastern-Ravens-Trust-169035356589411/ or follow them on twitter @EasternRavens