WHO ARE YOUNG CARERS MILTON KEYNES AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
Young Carers Milton Keynes supports local children and young people who have a caring role. They
currently have approximately 900 young carers between the ages of 8-25 registered with their service.
These young people may be caring for a parent, sibling or another relative living in the same household and
they don’t necessarily have to be providing ‘hands on’ care to be recognised as a young carer. Even if there
are services in place and other members of the family are helping with care, the emotional impact and
restrictions due to illness or disability can still have an enormous effect on a young carer.
These carers don’t have the stereotypical lives of young people in Milton Keynes. Many care for relatives
with long term disabilities or illnesses. They get very little respite, typically managing all of the day to day
running of their household, including cooking, cleaning and the supervision of medication. Sadly, they
also very often experience an enormous amount of bullying, have lived through traumatic experiences
and are generally isolated due to their lifestyles.
Young Carers Milton Keynes help to alleviate this by providing clubs, activities and 1:1 interventions, along
with group work, to ensure that young carers are supported in their role. They typically support young
carers in educational settings or in the community, with some young carers experiencing school refusal or
being home schooled in order to care.
WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
Pre lockdown regular support was usually quite practical – facilitating meeting with others in similar
situations, signposting and running regular clubs and activities so they get respite from their roles as carers.
The onset of Coronavirus of course meant that all clubs and activities needed to close. This had a huge
social impact on the Young Carers, who were suddenly unable to meet their peers - many of whom are in
the same situation as them - or to give each other much needed emotional support. Enforced isolation at
home now meant no respite at all.
WHAT DIFFERENCE DID THE APPEAL AWARD MAKE?
As a result of the award funding, Young Carers Milton Keynes have been able to implement a joint project
with Arthur Ellis Mental Health Support, to provide group care to those Young Carers identified as being
most in need of help.
Support is being offered to up to 165 individuals for a period of 3 months, with the project focusing on supporting young carers through highly stressful transition times i.e. Junior to Secondary school or GCSE's to A Levels etc.
This will be run by experts to address
and help young carers deal with not just their immediate concerns, but also their future emotional
development . Great efforts have been made to engage the young carers in activities through social media,
with the group’s staff calling them from their own homes to provide support.