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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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More support for young carers!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sheffield Heeley MP, Meg Munn, has said that more needs to be done to support around a quarter of a million children in England and Wales acting as young carers. Her call follows the recent release of 2011 Census data, which showed the huge number of young carers who provide unpaid care to family and friends.  They include around 23,000 children under the age of 9.

The Children’s Society has said that these figures are likely to under-represent the true picture, and has released a report, ‘Hidden from View’, which shows that around one in 12 young carers is caring for more than 15 hours per week. 

Young carers grapple with responsibilities normally associated with adulthood, such as managing the family budget, doing the shopping, washing and dressing a loved one, giving medication or being there emotionally for someone who may have no other sources of support.  The impact on young carers can be considerable, socially, emotionally, physically and especially on their education.

Meg is Patron of Sheffield Young Carers and recently arranged for thirteen young carers from Sheffield to meet Children’s Minister, Edward Timpson MP, in Parliament, to share their views and experiences.

Meg said:

“The Census data shows that many children in England and Wales are acting as young carers.  We know that in Sheffield alone there are at least 2,000 young carers under the age of 16 and the difficulties they face are often hidden.  We must ensure that young carers are fully supported, by schools, health and social care services, working together to identify and support them.  Attitudes and understanding should be improved to make it easier for young carers, not harder.”

Sheffield Young Carers, presented a series of recommendations to the Children’s minister, based on their own experiences, which included:

         training for doctors to help them identify, understand and support young carers more effectively;

         an Ofsted directive which states that schools should identify and provide support for young carers, and;

         support with finance, housing and benefits to help reduce isolation and stress, and to prevent inappropriate caring.

 

For information on Sheffield Young Carers call 0114 258 4595 or visit: http://www.sheffieldyoungcarers.org.uk/

 

To read The Children’s Society report, ‘Hidden from View’, visit:

http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/tcs/report_hidden-from-view_young-carers_final.pdf

 

To find out more about the Census data visit:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_310514.pdf

 

What is a young carer?

You are a young carer if you are under 18 years old and provide unpaid or informal support to family or friends.  This could be caring for a parent or family member who is ill, disabled, or has a mental health problem.  They could be unwell because of drinking alcohol or using drugs. 

 

You may be helping them practically by making sure they get up in the morning or take their medication.  Other responsibilities young carers take on can include cooking meals, paying bills and looking after younger brothers or sisters.  You may also be supporting your relative emotionally by listening to their problems, providing reassurance or worrying about them when you are not there.

 


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