Across West Yorkshire over 1500 young carers are registered with young carers services who support them with everyday challenges such as juggling school, friendships, social life and caring for their loved one.
Working together with West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP), over ten young carers have developed a young carers cookbook aimed at highlighting the incredible work they do alongside support available to them across the area.
Engagement with young carers highlighted a need for co-produced resources for young carers to support their health and well-being, resulting in the launch of the WY HCP Young Carers Support App, and production of the Let’s Eat: Young Carers Cookbook.
The cookbook will be widely available online, via the Young Carers Support App on West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership website, www.wypartnership.co.uk
Working in partnership with Verd de Gris arts – an award-winning creative arts company from Hebden Bridge – the cookbook was designed via creative workshops to co-produce the content. The purpose of the workshops was to create a fun environment enabling young people to talk about food and recipes, combining that with their own unique stories. Carers ages ranged from six to fourteen years old. This artistic content and the voice of the young carer has been beautifully and skilfully captured by Ver de Gris arts in the creation of the cookbook.
Tim Riley and Beate Wagner Co-chair of the WY HCP Programme for Children and Young People said: ‘During the pandemic more children and young people have taken on caring roles or have noted an increase in their caring responsibilities. 40% of young carers and 59% of young adult carers say their mental health is worse since the start of the pandemic (Carers Trust, 2021). With 11% of young carers and 19.7% of young adult carers reporting an increase of 30 hours or more in the amount of time they spend caring per week having access to quick and healthy meals has never been more important. Never has it been more important to identify and support young carers to be happy and healthy’.
Karen Jackson and Richard Parry Co-chair of the WY HCP Programme for Unpaid Carers said: ‘The cookbook will be launched via a Young Carers Cookbook roadshow starting in Bradford on the 19 October, and then Harrogate (25 October), Leeds (26 October), Wakefield (27 October) and Kirklees (28 October), before making its final stop in Calderdale early November. The roadshow will include an interactive session on how to make healthy pizzas delivered by Huddersfield based The Singing Pineapple Catering Co, and designed in partnership with Wakefield Council, Carers Resource, Barnardo’s, Family Action and Calderdale Council to ensure each event is bespoke to meet the specific demographic and needs of our diverse communities. The events are taking place in outdoor venues and provide an opportunity to shine a light and celebrate the fantastic role young carers do, share healthy messages and officially launch the cookbook’.
One young carer who took part said: ‘ I love making recipes and recipe books too! I am 12 years old and a cook in my house. I make food that blows you mind…NEVER give up on your cooking skills and don’t put pressure on yourself’. Olivia aged 12