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Meg welcomes Sheffield Young Carers to Parliament

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Meg Munn MP welcomed young carers from Sheffield to Parliament recently.  The visit was part of an action-packed two-day trip, which was funded by Carers Trust and supported by Meg who is Patron of Sheffield Young Carers’.  Thirteen young carers between the ages of 13 and 19 took a flight on the London Eye and mingled with the stars at Madame Tussauds.

Described by one young carer as “the best day of my life”, the first day was rounded off with a game of bowling and the rare chance to relax and socialise away from home.  Continuing their itinerary, the following day the group enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Houses of Parliament, followed by a meeting with Meg Munn MP and Children’s Minister Edward Timpson MP.  

All 13 young carers shared their views and experiences by making an inspiring group presentation.  Featuring postcards completed by young carers in Sheffield, and a consultation report produced by the VOYCE Project (Views of Young Carers Explained), the presentation aimed to influence government thinking and highlighted just a few of the issues facing young carers today.

The young carers also presented a series of recommendations 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.

Deeply impressed by the presentation, both Meg and Edward Timpson MP agreed that the point about isolation was particularly important, and that attitudes and understanding should be improved to make it easier, not harder, for young carers.  The Minister promised to write a letter to Sheffield Young Carers to confirm how he was planning to take their recommendations forward.

Meg said:

“Sheffield Young Carers Project offers a fantastic service for young carers across Sheffield, providing support and social activities which allow them to take a break from the everyday strains. These young people are a true inspiration to society; they are put under enormous pressure to care for their loved ones at the same time as growing up and taking care of themselves. 

It is crucial that we recognise these special circumstances and that the government, schools and GPs all provide the much needed support making it that little bit easier for young carers to live healthy and happy lives.”

Before heading home Sheffield’s young carers took in more London sights, including 10 Downing Street, the changing of the guard and Trafalgar Square.

For more information about Sheffield Young Carers please visit:  http://www.sheffieldyoungcarers.org.uk/

Associated Photograph :

Meg with young carers outside the Houses of Parliament

Meg with young carers outside the Houses of Parliament

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