Caring For The Carers
By Debi McAndrew, Early Years and Families Lead, MVRP
The theme for Carers Week 2023 was 'Recognising and supporting carers in the community'. For that campaign, we asked communities across Merseyside to recognise the huge contribution carers make to society. It is worth noting that one in five children in England conduct some care for sick and disabled family members (1).
Then, add the further amazing statistic, that a third of those children are offering “high-level caring” which doubtless includes spending time with those wholly dependent on support with daily life.
Firstly, we should celebrate this compassionate cohort and recognise (as we always do in the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership) that our young people care!
We know that young carers take on many responsibilities as part of their day-to-day lives and this can mean that they can miss out on some of the things other children do, such as play, learn and socialise with their friends. We know that some of our young carers can struggle in school and be overwhelmed with worry as well as feeling isolated.
Let Me Mention Intervention
The MVRP intervenes early in the lives of families by adopting a Public Health Approach so we can work with partners and communities to help families to build resilience and develop aspirations. We are also there at pivotal points including the transition between primary and secondary schools and when they leave education for life at college or in employment.
Never Take The Play Away
As the MVRP Lead for programmes such as ‘Look, Say, Sing, Play’ and ‘Reading to Bump’, I recognise the importance of play as a way of individual and emotional development. For a myriad of reasons, childhood should be the happy place of learning.
I am proud that our organisation offers support and that many services give young carers encouragement, respite, and hope.
Our carers' compassion for others needs to be matched by an understanding of all that they do for their family member. As well as opportunities, this includes the chance to make friends, socialise, gain an effective education and, crucially – have time to actually be a child.”
If you are a young carer and feel you need some support, why not visit...