I hosted a meeting of young carers groups from around the country in Parliament today, working with Sheffield Young Carers Group. We brought the groups together to discuss what actions we can take to improve support for young carers and to share their views with MPs, including my Sheffield colleagues Gill Furniss and Louise Haigh.
I’m Patron of Sheffield Young Carers Group, and last year took a group of their members to put their ideas to the Prime Minister. I then led a debate in Parliament raising their concerns, and have since written to Ministers pressing particularly on how schools and GPs can help more. Today’s meeting confirmed that the issues we’ve been raising are shared by others across the UK, and the young carers groups plan to continue working together with a coordinated national campaign.
Young carers often stay quiet about their role, due to the stigma attached to it and fear of what might happen if people find out, and therefore miss out on vital support. Working with statutory services and others in the voluntary sector, young carers groups help to identify young carers and offer support, as well as providing them with a voice.