Posted on: 8 March 2023
Young Carers Action Day takes place on Wednesday 15 March and aims to raise awareness about young and young adult carers, the challenges they face and the support they need. Young carers provide invaluable support to their loved ones. We know that caring can impact on a young person’s health, social life, education, and self-confidence.
This year the theme is MAKE TIME FOR YOUNG CARERS. Our young carers often tell us that people listening to them and noticing them can make a big difference. Even 10 minutes is enough to have a conversation and check in to understand how a young carer is feeling. This can make a big difference to their happiness, health and wellbeing.
In West Yorkshire there are many ways for you to show your support for young carers.
You could take part in our “thunderclap” and share a post on social media at 9am, 12noon, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm on 15 March to show support for young carers. Create your own post or repost on from West Yorkshire Partnership. Did you know, a thunderclap is a spell from Dungeons and Dragons that creates a burst of thunderous sound that can be heard up to 100 feet away. We want to do something similar on social media so young carers know they are important and recognised. We’ll be using the hashtag #WestYorkshireSupportsYoungCarers
There are an estimated 400,000 unpaid carers living in West Yorkshire, including children and young people caring for parents with long-term health conditions. Unpaid carers across West Yorkshire selflessly provide hours of unpaid care to their loved ones and this year it is critical to identify, support and signpost unpaid carers especially when many people are feeling the cost of living price rises. Anyone can become a carer, Carers UK estimate three out of five people will become carers at some point in their lifetime in the UK.
Being an unpaid carer can have an impact on a person’s wellbeing and even their ability to access health services. It can have a financial cost or an impact on careers and earning potential. It also impacts on relationships, including the time commitment of caring or changes to the relationship for those they care for.
- Many people are not aware that carers can discuss flexible working options with their employers. There are statutory rights which are protected by law and many employers have contracts of employment with more generous terms rights. At West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, we estimate 1 out of 3 of our workforce are balancing working and caring responsibilities
- Carers are protected from discrimination. If they look after an older or disabled person they are protected by law under the Equality Act 2010 against direct discrimination or harassment because of their caring responsibilities.
- Carers are eligible for free flu jabs and covid vaccinations and boosters. For carers looking after someone who is vulnerable, elderly or disabled they can speak to your GP surgery or local pharmacist.
- Carers can ask for a Carer’s Assessment from their local council and they have the right to identified as a carer. If you provide unpaid care, you can ask your GP practice to identify you as a carer on your patient record. West Yorkshire and Health Care Partnership have co-created primary care packs with our local places to support GP practices identify and record carers.
The Unpaid Carers programme is an award winning programme receiving highly commended for Workforce Initiative Award of the Year in 2020 and winning System Led Support for Carers at the 2019 HSJ Awards.
Many carers are ‘hidden’ and provide the majority of care without formal support. Being a carer can be stressful and have a major impact on your health, relationships, education and employment. With this in mind we are working with NHS England to ensure that identifying carers and supporting them is further embedded within our work. This includes developing ways to support the existing and future workforce who balance caring responsibilities, signposting and identifying service standards for all organisations – not just in the public sector.
Specialist local carer services across West Yorkshire provide help, advice and support to unpaid carers and work together with the Partnership to improve services for Unpaid Carers
|Name of organisation and Place
|Bradford - Carers Resource
|Calderdale - Making Space
|Kirklees - Carers Count
|Leeds - Carers Leeds
|Wakefield - Carers Wakefield