Happy Carers Week!

The Honeypot Children’s Charity is raising awareness of young carers this Carers Week — June 11-17 2018.

Young carers carry out the same caring responsibilities as adults, but can go unidentified and unsupported. As caring can take a mental toll on a child, along with affecting their studies and social skills, it’s so important that young carers are recognised so they can receive the help they need.

Census figures state there are up to 195,000 young carers in the UK, though official figures are believed to commonly misrepresent the actual number for several reasons. Many young carers and their families find it difficult to come forwards, young carers find it hard to relate to other children and parents worry they may seem unfit guardians to social services. Councils also do not count children who look after family who may suffer from alcohol or drug abuse problems. A BBC survey in 2010 estimated the number could be as high as 700,000.

A young carer is a child or anyone under 18 who helps look after a relative or someone close who is ill (often chronically or terminally), disabled, has mental health problems or problems with drugs or alcohol.

 

At Honeypot, we believe every child deserves their one chance at childhood. Young carers should have the same opportunities as other children, and the chance to enjoy their childhoods and have friends. That’s why we run a program of support for young carers – some as young as 5 – providing regular respite breaks at one of our two Honeypot Homes, visits from our Playbus to reach them in their local communities, and birthday cards and Christmas presents – sometimes the only ones they receive.

This means we can be there all through a young carer’s formative years, helping them have some precious time to enjoy themselves, boost their self-confidence, make friends, and just be children again.