27 Jul 2012

Our Include programme is delivering the Affecting Change for Families project to develop and improve support and services for children and young people caring for family members affected by HIV across England. The project has been funded by the Elton John Aids Foundation.

The programme is identifying policy gaps and undertaking campaigning to bring about positive long-term change for young carers and their families who are infected and or affected by HIV. 

Presenting policy requests at parliamentary meeting

On 14 June, the young carers we work with met policy makers and politicians to advocate on behalf of other young carers affected by HIV. 

Fifteen young people attend the event with the APPG for HIV and AIDS where they met their MPs and the publicly appointed Standing Commission for Carers to share their key policy asks.

The young people created short film pieces illustrating their experiences and created entries for the Lights, Camera, Parliament competition. The young people shared their messages to bring about positive policy change impacting on the support and services for young carers affected by HIV. 

Their three policy requests are:

  • Specialist HIV and young carers training sessions for all teachers, education professionals, social care and health professionals.
  • Lessons in schools about HIV and the impact on family members and young carers.
  • Raise awareness of young carers affected by HIV all the time not just on World Aids day

Young carers' specific requests

Chukka Umanna MP chaired the event and he made a commitment to follow through on the young people’s specific asks, which were:

  • 'We want you to write to Sarah Teather, the Minister for Children and Families, to share what you have heard today.'
  • 'We would like you to write to Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health and share what you have heard today.'
  • 'The Royal College of General Practitioners has recently recruited GP Champions for Carers that are working nationally across England. Please will you contact your local Carers Champion and ask them to remember young carers and those in families affected in by HIV.' 

They then asked and answered question from other MPs, the Standing Commission on Carers (SCOC) and other attendees.

photograph of panellists and crowd at the broadcast of 'Any Questions?'Chuka Umunna was also a panellist on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions?' at this year's Young Carers Festival. Chuka spoke on air about the Young Carers advocacy parliament event, referring to the needs of young carers affected by HIV live on BBC Radio 4. He reinforced his commitment to the young people and showing that he has taken on board their comments.

Join us as we launch a new online resource

The young people said: 'The Children’s Society has given us a break and let us do fun activities but I have also learnt new things about what the government is doing to help people living from HIV. I now know that MPs can help people with HIV by providing better living conditions through laws or advertising.'

We are launching a new online resource at a series of events in September. This resource will be a great tool for practitioners and offer learning for the wider organisation regarding young carers in families affected by HIV. If you work with young people and families affected by HIV, please join us.

Learn more and get involved