Young carers from North Tyneside Carers’ Centre celebrated Young Carers’ Awareness Day with an event for professionals from education, health and social care.
Speakers included members of the Young Carers Project team at the centre, North Tyneside Council, schools sharing good practice and young carers themselves, who spoke powerfully about their own experiences.
Students from John Spence Community High School in North Shields spoke of how important the support from their school has been to them.
It has introduced a young carers’ club, where pupils are able to talk with other young carers and access specialist information, advice and support.
Angela Ritson, learning mentor from St Thomas More RC Academy, spoke about how the school has worked to address the issue of unnoticed young carers with the Young Carers Project team from North Tyneside Carers’ Centre.
The measures introduced include a screening programme, student ambassadors and drop-in sessions.
A young carer spoke of some of the difficulties she had faced at school when supporting her mother, who has mental-health issues.
The student, who cared for her younger sister, was not identified until she was a teenager. She then received support from North Tyneside Carers’ Centre and her school, which enabled her to access counselling, a quiet study area and support from a mentor.
Now doing well at school, she is applying for a place at university and working part-time.