Young Carers are young people aged 8-18 years who care for a relative.
They may live in a family where someone is affected by a long term illness, disability, mental health issue, alcohol or substance misuse or HIV. The Young Carers Service supports Young Carers in Barking & Dagenham and Thurrock. You can find out more about the work the Young Carers Service does here: http://www.carerscentre.org.uk/services/young-carers
Friday the 30th of September representative of Jon Cruddas MP and local Labour campaigner Fay Hough attended an event titled ‘Young Carers? What are they?' a session seeking to inform who Young Carers are and what they do. Held at The London School of Economics, Fay was able to meet the young carers of Barking and Dagenham and learn more about what they do, and what they would like to happen for the future of Young Carers.
The first part of the evening allowed attendees to watch a short film made by the Young Carers informing them on situations such as how they deal with school, everyday life, balancing friendships, and coping with life as a whole.
Fay commented: "The short film was very moving and really gave us an insight into the young people's lives and what they have to go through. Shortly after we was split into groups by Ronda Daniel, (Sessional Worker for Barking and Dagenham Carers and event organiser) as we discussed questions put to us such as ‘whose role is it to create awareness for Young Carers?' This question specifically was answered so well by the young people in my group with answers such as; everyone, schools, the government, celebrities, and themselves.
"I have to applaud Ronda Daniel for organising such a fantastic evening full of inspirational young people. As an active campaigner in the local area I will continue to support their work and help in any way I can with continuing to create awareness."
The Young Carers at the event discussed how they feel they are sometimes misunderstood by people they face daily such as teachers, friends and family members. The meeting highlighted how much more awareness needs to be raised for these young people so that their situation can be more understood and accepted. Young people as a whole face a lot of pressure from exams, society and simply dealing with growing into a young adult. What we need is more information accessible to those within our community which hopefully will help decrease some of their anxieties.
Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham added: "The work of young carers is vitally important and I commend the dedication of all those across Barking, Dagenham and Havering. Part of recognising their commitment to society is raising awareness to some of the struggles they face. I will do all I can to support the work of carers in my constituency, with greater emphasis on young carers."