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Young Carers Festival

Every summer, we partner with YMCA Fairthorne Group to host the largest festival in the world for young people with a caring responsibility at home.

What does the young carers festival offer?

girls on a rollercoaster at the young carers festival

The Young Carers Festival (YCF) is the biggest gathering of young carers’ in the world. It is an annual must-attend event for young carers to have fun, unwind, make new friends and try new things. 

It's also a political platform for young carers to be heard and influence change. 

Event highlights include, fairground rides, live music, outdoor movies, fireworks and the legendary silent disco! 

The impact of young carers coming together in this way has created a powerful and united voice about the issues they face and has provided a political platform to influence and inform national and local policy. 

Young carers radio

YCFM Radio 

The festival's official radio station gives young carers the chance to share their views, talk about their lives and request their favourite tunes live on air.  

Tune in to listen from the comfort of your camping area. 

The Voice Zone

A hub for young carers' voices, thoughts and opinions. We run interactive and fun drop-in workshops that aim to improve awareness and support for young carers.

The voices of young carers in the Voice Zone have directly influenced changes in legislation and helped strengthen young carers rights. So, come and have your voices heard!

A quote from a young carer

It's allowed me to make a lot more friends It's allowed me to make a lot more friends

Girl with face paint in the young carers festival crowd

young carers festival video

Young Carers Festival - Video

Areas and Activities

  • Fairground: go on rides including Twister and the Dodgems.
  • Planetarium: lie back and be dazzled by the galaxy.
  • Sports: try paddle boarding, climbing, obstacle courses, yoga, BMX, kayaking and football.
  • Crafts: drop in to an arts and crafts workshop. There'll be clay modelling, woodcraft and more.

The details

How to attend

To attend the Young carers Festival you must be part of a group either via your local young carers organisation or your school.


You will be allocated a pitch based on how many young carers in your group. You should bring your own tents, or pop-up tents can be provided at an additional cost.

Indoor accommodation is limited and only available to those with a medical condition or disability.


All meals are included over the weekend as part of your ticket. Please make sure any dietary requirements are outlined when booking.

There is also a snack bar offering hot food, and a tuck shop for sweets (at additional cost).

Getting there

  • By train: the nearest train station is Botley.
  • By coach: entrance to the festival site is at: YMCA Fairthorne Manor, Curdridge Southampton. Hampshire, SO30 2GH
Crowd celebrating at the young carers festival at night

'You really do
have the time of
your life here.'
'You really do have the time of your life here.'


  • Rules: The festival is an alcohol and substance-free site. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
  • Dates and times: The festival site opens from 4pm on the Friday, with registration and tent allocation from 4.30pm. The festival end on Sunday, with all groups to have vacated the site by 2pm.
  • Medical facilities: There will be a dedicated first aid team on site for the duration of the festival. In addition, all YMCA activity staff are qualified first aiders.

Get in touch about the young carers festival

Get involved

If you want to support the young carers festival you can volunteer, support, donate or sponsor young carers to attend.  

For information on getting involved, please get in touch.

Girls at the young carers festival smiling with paint on them