Don't miss Hidden, an exhibition of fantastic photos of some of the 166,000 children in England who are young carers.

A young carer featured in Hidden - photograph by Max Alexander

Hidden is a compelling portrait exhibition that tells the story of England’s young carers. The exhibition is on display from 11-22 February in London at gallery@oxo, on the south bank of the Thames. (Get the exhibition details.)

The official figure of young carers in England is 166,000 – but this is likely just the tip of the iceberg. Hidden reveals their often invisible lives, where every day they face huge responsibilities and unimaginably difficult choices.

In this rare insight, young carers share their side of the story. They disclose challenging stories of shouldering overwhelming responsibilities that affect their well-being and education. Yet these are also stories of hope and courage, of children who have spoken up and created major change in schools, the health service and Parliament. Find a sample of the images and young carers' stories on our blog.

Award-winning photographer and former young carer Max Alexander captures their resilience, determination and dreams for the future.

Led by The Children’s Society, Hidden is part of The Big Lottery funded Young Carers in Focus programme (YCiF)

See Hidden: England's Invisible Young Carers

Where: gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH (more details on the gallery@oxo website)

Dates: 11-22 February

Opening times: 11am - 6pm

Admission: Free

Who are young carers?

a young girl cooking a meal while her sister waits at a table

These children are forced to grow up early and miss out on the same opportunities as other children because they care for family members who are disabled or chronically ill, or for adults who are misusing alcohol or drugs.

According to the 2011 census data, the number of young carers rose by 20% compared with ten years before.

Some of these children are not only losing their childhoods they are also missing out on vital school and training, which will have a negative impact on the rest of their lives. Please read Hidden from View: Experiences of young carers in England.

We help young carers by making sure they can have breaks from their responsibilities and by giving young carers a platform to share their experiences and raise awareness about the issues they face.

Supporting young carers

Our Include programme works with voluntary and statutory services across the country to support young carers. We campaign for change and promote best practice with central and local government.

We aim to:

  • develop a national focus for young carers, their families and those who work to support them
  • promote common standards.

Working together with a variety of organisations we have:

  • created a contacts database of young carers projects
  • organised training events and regional conferences  
  • published guidance, leaflets and information packs
  • organised annual Young Carers Festivals (see below)
  • developed online resources
  • produced a training DVD
  • supported children and young people making presentations to ministers and parliamentarians.

Visit our Include programme’s website to find a wealth of information and resources for young carers, families and professionals.

The Young Carers Festival

The Young Carers Festivals provide young people with the opportunity to have fun, relax, socialise and forget their responsibilities for a weekend.

Young Carers in Focus

Young Carers in Focus is a national network which allows young carers to communicate, share stories and campaign for the things that matter most to them.