Are you under 18 and looking after someone in your family who is ill or disabled? This may be a parent, a brother or sister or a grandparent. Maybe you help by staying at home a lot to be there for them, helping them get washed or dressed, perhaps translating and interpreting for them, or doing lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking.
If this sounds like you, then you are a young carer. It may seem a strange way to describe yourself, because looking after someone in your family may feel like a natural role. Being a carer means you may have the right to help and support to make life easier.
Help and support
As a young carer you are entitled to get help and support from the Family Support. They will not be looking to stop from you from supporting the person you look after, nor to separate you from that person. They will ask you what sort of support you would like to make your life and your caring role easier.
Support is available from the Family Support. They can provide young carers with:
- An assessment of their needs
- One to one support for young carers with a high level of need
- Advice to support young carers in their caring role
- Information about other support services and activities they engage in
You can contact the Family Support directly or, if you prefer, you can ask someone you know to contact them for you - maybe a friend or relative, a teacher, or your family doctor. Don't be afraid to ask - it is important to get the help you are entitled to.
Family Support by emailing email@example.com or phoning 020 8753 6070.
You can also contact London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham's Family Services Team on 0208 753 6600 for more information.
More support is also available in the voluntary sector
- SIBZ project Support for siblings of children with disabilities delivered by Mencap. SIBZ offers holiday trips to children with disabilities and their siblings. Call 0208 748 5168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Family Friends Parent befriending and child mentoring projects and programmes. Call 0208 960 9099 or email email@example.com
- Honeypot Respite residentials for junior young carers (under 12). Referrals are made through Family Services, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see the website for more details.
Young carers can access a wide range of youth activities in the borough. See www.lbhf.gov.uk/youthlife for more information.
There are organisations in your local area dedicated to providing specialist advice and support to carers, and various other organisations and groups offering support and activities:
Follow this link to the directory www.lbhf.fis/ysap and then search for ‘young carers’ to find the most updated records.
- Assessments for young carers
- Rights of young carers
- Renaissance Foundation - based in East London, work with young carers age 13-18. A 3-year programme focused on needs and aspirations improving their resilience, developing soft skills and life tools such as public speaking abilities and critical thinking and broadening their horizon of work.