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  • Joe Sims

Young carers looking after vulnerable adults at this financially and emotionally uncertain time

Hello to everyone in our lovely group, happy Wednesday and welcome to week 162, we hope you are all safe and well and managing to stay active through isolation. If you are frontline workers then THANK YOU. At times like this that we can help some of the most vulnerable people. The nomination is below and we’ve added the response to the donation at the end. The Nomination: My friend is a leader for Gloucestershire Young Carers, its a charity and she works tirelessly for them. For his birthday, her son has created a FB fundraiser on behalf of the charity and this is her response which prompted the nomination. This is what Mandy wrote; Young carers are children and young people who help to care for a family member who has a long term physical or mental illness, disability or substance misuse issues i.e. some of people most at risk during this pandemic. Some of the young carers we work with live in single parent households where it is the parent that has care needs. I can’t imagine how responsible and isolated they must feel at the moment. We are doing everything we can to keep in regular contact with the most vulnerable young carers. We think that there are around 7000 young carers in Gloucestershire. Many of these remain hidden from services because they don’t even realise that they are young carers and nobody explains what a young carer is or tells them what support there is. The thanks received from Gloucestershire Young carers; On a personal level I am over the moon that firstly my son thought to do a fund-raiser for Gloucestershire Young Carers and then that Ray saw an opportunity to nominate us to you all. Our challenge, to meet the needs of young carers through these difficult times, is significant. Many of these children live with the impact of stigma and discrimination, their families being seen as ‘different’. When your parent has a chronic physical or mental illness or uses substances for example, it’s just not something that crops up in conversation with your friends. Young carers often feel isolated and so many of our regular services are based on  bringing the children and young people together and giving them a break. On a more positive note young carers also learn amazing skills and develop incredible strengths! Over the last two or three weeks we have needed to completely re-design our services. We are on a rapid learning curve as to how technology can help us to stay in contact with the young people, both individually and in groups, in a way that they find helpful and engaging. We are trialling a number of digital products and undoubtedly, will need to invest in something that works for young carers and their families. To add to this challenge, the impact of chronic health issues means that many of the families that we support are not able to work and cannot afford up-to-speed mobile phones or laptops. Thank you so much for donating £500. As we move into unchartered waters your contribution will really help us to have flexibility in how we deliver our services.

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