Throughout our lives at some point, three in five of us will become a carer. This may be something we never thought we’d do, but illness, disability, addiction or a mental health issue means we may have to step in for our loved ones.
This is why Thomas Cook Children’s Charity are so keen to support Carers Trust, a major charity which supports unpaid carers, some of which are only of school age. There’s an estimated 700,000 young people who are caring for loved ones in the UK, with stats showing that one in 12 secondary school pupils are a carer. Children and young people caring for their parents and siblings can struggle at school, with less time for homework and making friends.
Thomas Cook Children’s Charity is supporting Carers Trust’s work with young carers in 2017, by providing funding for some fantastic programmes:
- The Explore More! Support Fund: This will give grants to individual young carers to allow them to explore who they are as young people. They can apply for up to £150 in order to cover equipment/attendance fees/tuition costs and transport costs for their passions.
- The Time to Find ME! Fund: This encourages young carers to take part in fun, structured group activities aimed at raising their aspiration. Carers often struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem, so taking some time away from their home role can really help.
- Young Carers in Schools Programme: This is a free England-wide programme that makes it as easy as possible for schools to support young carers. To this date, the programme has reached out to more than 700 education providers, gained over 10,000 unique views on its useful online resources and awarded 140 schools for their for helping young carers and following good practice.
Natalie King, our Cluster Manager for the North Kent Coast, visited one of the schools benefitting from this programme. The Downs CE Primary School in Kent was presented with a Carer’s Trust ‘Young Carers Gold Award’ to thank them for their commitment.
The school welcomed Natalie and offered her the opportunity to meet three of the young carers in their school, and their parents, to hear the difference having this support means to them.
We’re glad to hear that having support in school has improved attendance, confidence and restored some sense of normality to the lives of the children being given this support. If you’d like to help us to keep funding this year, you can donate here to make a difference to young people going through a tough time.