Responses to our young carers report, and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's support
On Thursday we released Hidden from View: The experiences of young carers in England, a report that combined just-released census data and a thorough research on over 15,000 young people aged 13 and 14. The report draws attention to the needs of the more than 166,000 young carers across England.
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, pictured above, offered his support to young carers and our report. He said: 'I was nine when my father died. My mother had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years earlier and was left to bring up three children alone. So I can very much empathise with the life a young carer is forced to lead. There are tens of thousands of young carers out there, many of them hidden from view. We need to lift the shadow of responsibility and give these young carers back their childhoods.'
Young carers' voices
Three young carers shared their stories on our website. If you haven't read them, they are moving stories and well worth reading:
- Kelly's story, 'Looking after my mum and sister is a constant worry'
- Joanne's story, 'I struggle to keep on top of everything, especially my homework'
- Tye's story, 'I would like to see my friends more often, but I can't'
Upon reading Tye's story, one commenter on Facebook wrote: 'Makes you just want to get in there and say 'It's going to be ok you're not alone', doesn't it?'. Joanne's story story moved another commenter to write: 'Kids should not have to suffer like this, so unfair.' After reading Kelly's story, a supporter wrote: 'The role young people play as carers often goes unrecognised. We need to be aware of this and support them.'
Our Young Carers in Focus project enables young carers across the UK to share their stories and have their voices heard using a safe social networking site.