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Young Carers

Level 3 Health & Social Care students at Harlow College have been busy organising a series of fundraising activities, raising money for a local charity close to their hearts.

Action for Family Carers provides emotional support and information for young adult carers in an informal environment, as well as regular respite day care for the cared-for so that carers can have a break. Support groups run regularly across Essex where carers meet to unwind and share their experiences.

There are over 200,000 young adult carers aged 16-24 in the UK, amounting to 5.3% of all people in that age group, with one quarter of all young adult carers in the UK providing care for more than 20 hours per week.

The term young adult carer applies to anyone between 16 and 24 whose life is in some way restricted because of the need to take responsibility for the care of a person on a regular basis. They may be the main carer, or provide partial care for a brother, sister, mother, father, grandparent, husband, wife or partner.

The students raised a total of £145.84 by holding cake sales and collecting gifts for the charity, donated by College staff.

Julia Gray, Young Adult Carer Transition Worker at Action for Family Carers, talked about the charity and explained how the students’ fundraising activities will help: “We provide respite care for any carer over the age of eight, working with 330 young adult carers across Essex.

“We provide carers with employment and training opportunities, as well as help with improving their education, as we know a lot of young adult carers have problems with college deadlines due to their caring responsibilities. We also arrange all sorts of fun trips across the area.

“The money that the students raised will go towards a trip, where the carers can hopefully relax and have fun. They deserve it.”

Leanne, one of the students who helped to fundraise, is also a young adult carer: “I care for my brother, which means that sometimes I don’t have time to go out with friends or spend time on my college work. Being involved with Action for Family Carers is great because you realize that there are other people like you out there so you’re not on your own. There are other people you can talk to and it gives you a break from your caring responsibilities.”

Photo credit: Julia Gray from Action for Family Carers, being presented with the cheque by Harlow College Level 3 Health & Social Care students.