A PILOT scheme that raises awareness about young carers and offers them much-needed support has been deemed a success.
Nottinghamshire Young Carers service, run by the Family Action charity, has been working with six schools and two colleges to improve the support offered to young people who care for a member of their family.
Garibaldi College in Forest Town is one of the schools that has been accredited for reaching the required ‘quality standard’ for the support it provides to young carers.
Jayne Pearson, the school’s attendance manager, said they had worked on identifying young carers - of which there are around 10 at Garibaldi - and are providing more support as well as raising awareness of the issue with other students.
“I am really proud of the work we have done,” she said.
“We are getting more referrals as the staff are more aware that [Family Action] exists and that the support exists.”
A young carer is a child who has to help look after a member of their family to the extent that it affects their everyday lives.
After identifying a child who is a carer, often through problems with attendance and punctuality, schools can refer them to the Family Action Young Carers service, which is funded by Nottinghamshire County Council, for support.
This can include help with buying books and computers, assistance for pursuing a hobby and help to be able to spend more time with friends.
Year nine student Rebecca has been caring for her mum since she was seven and said that her situation was ‘ a lot better’ thanks to the support she has received as part of the pilot scheme.
“The school understands more and I have people to talk to as well,” she said.
“My mum feels like I am happier now and don’t bottle things up. My attendance is getting better too.”
Ashfield School and Vision West Notts also took part in the Family Action project.