West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) is set to launch a new young carers App on the 16 March as part of Young Carers Action Day. The App has been coproduced with young carers following feedback on what support they need to make their caring role easier. Feedback included the importance of virtual anonymous support and advice on how to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.
The theme of this year’s Young Carers Action Day is about protecting young carers’ futures and making sure that all young and young adult carers get the support they need to go after their dreams. Young Carers Action Day is an annual event led by the Carers Trust. It raises awareness and calls for action to increase support for young people with caring responsibilities.
Young carers and young adult carers have done an amazing job before and during the pandemic with many finding themselves with increased caring responsibilities coupled with less time spent at school, in college or with friends. Many have found their lives turned upside down with feelings of stress or anxiety heightened, with nowhere to go for support.
WY&H HCP is committed to addressing the inequalities that young carers face. The launch of the APP called ‘YC support’ will enable young carers to access information on how to look after their health and wellbeing as well as support available to them in their caring role, including local the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) who can offer bespoke advice and support to young people.
The ‘YC support’ app was produced by ‘Expert Self Care’, an organisation who provide health information, promote self-care and signpost services through trusted mobile apps, led by Dr Knut Schroeder, a Bristol based GP and Health App Developer.
As a result of findings from what young carers said, WY&H HCP has also launched a support network to help them stay happy, healthy and well. . The Partnership is running an awareness raising campaign with local carers organisations across education settings with the aim of reminding teachers to look out for the signs that students may also be carers and that simple things put in place can make their life better – for example keeping their phone on when in lessons.
Karen Jackson, CEO for Locala Community Partnerships and co-chair of WY&H HCP Carers Programme said: ‘Young carers have told us that their teachers aren’t always aware of their caring role. Teachers can be an enormous support to young carers. The reopening of schools provides us with an opportunity to remind them to look out for the signs’.
Richard Parry, Kirklees Council’s Director for Adults and Health, and co-chair for WY&H HCP Carers Programme said: ‘In the coming months, as we build back better we will be working with our local partner organisations and young carers to listen carefully to how better we can further support young carers so they have every chance in life to fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions’.