New research from Action for Children and Carers Trust found that 72% of young carers feel lonely during the school holidays with many spending more than 4 hours a day caring for a relative. 1 in 5 said they had never been on holiday with their family.
There are an estimated 700,000 children and young people across the UK caring for a family member with a disability, illness or mental health problem – some as young as five years old. Typically, young carers help with practical tasks around the home such as cooking, housework and shopping; physical care, such as helping someone out of bed; and personal care, such as helping someone dress.
Carer Support Wiltshire in partnership with Youth Action Wiltshire provides young carers with activities and breaks from their caring role. It means they get the chance to enjoy the holidays too with days on the farm, learning how to fish, cooking workshops and survival skills bush craft.
17 year old Kaitlyn was 9 when she started helping to care for her brother. Activities and breaks meant she was able to have some time to mix with others in a similar situation.
“The carer activities helped me to find myself. They gave me the confidence to do things and put myself out there.”
Kaitlyn is now an ambassador for Youth Action Wiltshire and helps other young carers.
Pictured is Kaitlyn and some young carers down at the farm at Caenhill Countryside Centre.