A GROUP of young people from Worcestershire organised and ran a conference on the challenges faced by young carers in the county last month.
The YSS Worcestershire Young Carers Conference was held at St Peters Baptist Church on Wednesday, May 21 and saw representatives from a range of organisations in the county meet to hear the inspirational stories of young people what caring for friends or family members.
The 12 young people who organised the event presented a film they made on a day in the life of a young carer as well as stories from people involved in the role across the county.
Although numerous young people across Worcestershire provide some form of care for members of their family such as doing their shopping, cleaning or supporting them emotionally, many do not receive any help in doing so.
Delegates at the conference pledged to increase the support they offer to young carers in any way they can.
One young person at the event said: "I got referred to young carers when I was in first school.
“At the time, I was too young to understand what being a young carer was – I thought it was a normal lifestyle for a child my age to help their mum out around the house, it just seemed the norm to me.
“As I grew up, I understood a lot more and it made me realise the things we do for the ones we love and we should all be very proud of ourselves."
Another said: "As a young carer, not only do I physically look after my mum, I also have to emotionally support her for her well-being and it can be difficult to see her in such a way.
“I carry out all of the usual household jobs such as the cleaning, washing, cooking the food, doing the shopping and dealing with the money side of things."
Although Worcester MP Robin Walker was unable to be present at the event a letter from him was read out at the conference in which he said: “At a challenging time for local government I think it is absolutely right that the county council has marked out the young carers as a special group deserving special support”.
YSS, a Midlands-based charity supporting people who face difficult life challenges, has run Worcestershire’s young carers service since 2003 and is funded jointly by Worcestershire County Council and Children in Need as well as donations and fundraising.
For more information on YSS – formerly known as Youth Support Services – call 01299 252 300 or visit www.yss.org.uk.