Carer Support Wiltshire Logo

Young adult carers across the south west struggle to balance a demanding caring role with studying or starting a career. A team of bright young graduates from Nationwide are aiming to change that in just 14 weeks.

The team of six have been given the task of developing an online support service for young adult carers across the south west. The project is part of the Nationwide Emerging Talent Graduate Development Programme and the graduates will be working with Carer Support Wiltshire, a group of young adult carers and facilitator, Three Hands.

They have just 14 weeks to research, scope and develop the strategy for an online service for young adult carers. The service will act as in initial engagement point with advice, information, supervised peer support and signposting to further support available locally.

“This project produces a unique opportunity to work with Carer Support Wiltshire and help them take further steps forward supporting and engaging with young carers. These carers sacrifice a huge amount and do a truly fantastic job, I can’t imagine how hard it must be doing it full time. Having looked after my Grandfather to give my Granny a break twice a week I have enormous admiration for carers.” Hamish Stark, Nationwide graduate and team captain

For the young adult carers who have been helping on the project it has been an opportunity to develop new skills and use their experiences of caring. Jack Britton from Bristol knows first-hand the challenges young adult carers face. Two years ago his mother developed complications and chronic anxiety following a hospital operation and 18 year old Jack became her main carer. Juggling a caring role with exams and lack of sleep meant that Jack initially found it hard to cope.

“I’ve got the skills and the experience now and I know how to deal with looking after my mum much better than I did at the beginning. I want to see what I’ve learnt passed onto to someone who needs it – to be made available to those who are new to caring and don’t know how to cope or where to find support.”

The project is part of Nationwide’s ongoing commitment to social investment and has been designed to help the graduates develop their business skills, understand social issues and deliver a service that will have a real impact on local communities. They will present their ideas to Carer Support Wiltshire in August.