Reading the report by the Carers Trust Charity, has been extremely eye-opening.
The facts and figures regarding infant carers are enormous, and something that unfortunately, is not very often discussed.
According to the report, there are an estimated 700,000 carers aged 5 to 17 in the UK.
A survey within the report also revealed that in Salford, Greater Manchester alone, 75 per cent of young carers experienced depression or stress in the previous year.
Aware of such staggering figures, and wanting to help all young people from every background, The Boys’ Brigade has been reaching out to young carers since January 2015, to provide a safe and encouraging environment for them to come along and simply be themselves.
The report estimated that 8.8 per cent of young carers were spending as much as 50 hours a week looking after someone, so for us, we wanted to provide somewhere they can relax and be around others going through similar experiences. BB has been piloting a new group working in Stoke on Trent specifically with young carers, with nearly 20 children and young people attending aged 5 to 15.
The majority of the group are young carers involved in caring for a sibling or parent at home.
The plan is to expand this work with young carers in Stoke on Trent, and also reach out to children and other young people across the country.
I am very aware young carers often miss out on opportunities that other children have to play and learn, so to be able to provide a space where for at least a couple of hours a week, and be kids again, is something we will continue to strive for over the course of 2016.
Acting Chief Executive
The Boys’ Brigade
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