A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

The care they give is often unsung, unnoticed and can be of great cost to them socially, mentally and physically. This is because carers often feel helping family or friends is ‘just what you do’ and don’t recognise their caring role.

Young Carers

Being a young carer can cause many issues around education. Young carers can find it hard to go to school/college/university or keep up with course work. Young carers should talk to their school or college and make sure they are aware that the young person is a carer and how it is affecting their education. For example, a young carer will not have to undertake after school detentions it if interrupts care provision, and they may get allowances for late arrivals.

Young carers may also find it hard to sustain friendships or develop new ones or keep up with interests and activities they may have previously enjoyed.

As a young carer it is important you contact your local Carers Association as they can offer support with your education and will arrange social activities so you can be with your peers.

Young carers are also entitled to travel passes and discounted/free entry to events. Contact your local authority for more information.

Adult Carers    

Caring can lead to uncertainty with finances, especially if you have given up work or are managing on benefits. The aids and equipment needed to help care can put an extra drain on finances. Carers may not be able to afford to do the things that many of us take for granted, such as buying new clothes, heating the house, going on holiday or paying a bus fare.

To help you financially, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. Contact Steve Bradshaw or your local authority to find out if you are eligible. 

Like young carers, adult carers should contact their local Carers Association. Local support groups, free legal advice and employment information will available to you.

If a carer is still in employment, it may be useful to talk to your boss and explain the situation. Make sure they are aware you are a carer and you will be supported under the Equal Opportunities Act.

A carer will also be entitled to discounted/free entry to cinemas, plus your local council may offer discounts for leisure activities as well as travel passes.

Finally

Be proud to be a carer; be proud of the personal qualities they show on a daily basis. Remember, carers need to be cared for.

Members of myaware can obtain free advice from our benefits and welfare officer Steve Bradshaw on 01332 290 219.

Useful Links

Carers Trust - https://carers.org/

Carers UK - https://www.carersuk.org/