Yesterday (30th January), was Young Carers Awareness Day, an important event that draws much-needed attention to an often overlooked topic. Across the UK, as many as 1 in 5 children and young people are carers. However, only half of them have someone at school who is aware of their situation and able to help them. 

Taking care of someone can be like a full-time job and young carers often sacrifice their own wellbeing and life to do so. According to a survey, on average, young carers missed or cut short 48 school days due to their role. More needs to be done to ensure that these young people can achieve their education while making sure the person in need is still looked after.

Worryingly, 68% of young carers are also bullied in schools. That number is shockingly high and emphasises the toll that having to look after someone day in and day out can, directly and indirectly, have on a child's mental health. I am not saying that they should stop caring for their person in need, especially in a time where the NHS is struggling and consistent care is hard to find, but more awareness needs to be raised surrounding these issues, especially in schools where support is most essential.

Although there are many services available to help young carers, these statistics show the reality of how much more is needed. In a time where so much is changing and the future of our country and economy is unsure, we must not forget those who need our support.


Charlotte Brereton