A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who helps look after, or whose life is affected by, a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.

If you are a young carer, you will most likely help look after a family member, friend or loved one.

You may help with:

  • Sibling Care: looking after brothers and sisters.
  • Communication: helping someone communicate with others
  • Practical tasks: this can be helping with cooking, cleaning and other tasks such as shopping.
  • Physical care: you may help someone move around or get out of bed.
  • Helping someone take their medication: you may also help someone collect their prescriptions.
  • Emotional support: helping or talking to someone who may be feeling distressed or down.
  • Personal care: this can be helping someone get dressed or washed

Impact of caring

We know that caring responsibilities can impact in many ways...

Mental health: young carers are more likely to experience emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression than their peers. 48% of young carers say their caring role makes them feel stress.

Education/development: many young carers find it difficult to manage their education alongside their responsibilities, with 1 in 20 young carers missing school due to their role as a carer. Young carers are 50% more likely to experience their own SEN.

Social isolation: young carers often find it difficult to access social opportunities as much as their peers, which can result in isolation from their friends. Over two-thirds of young carers say they have been bullied at school, and 80% say they are missing out on their childhood.

Young carers often learn lots of useful skills as a result of their role as a carer, but at Devon Young Carers we want to make sure that they get the support they deserve. If you feel like you, or someone you know maybe a young carer and you would like some more support, please visit our Support for Young Carers page.

For more information about how we can help contact us at Devon Carers Helpline on:

t: 03456 434 435 or e: [email protected]

Please complete the young carers online referral form below:

Or download a young carers referral form and return it securely to [email protected] or by post to Devon Young Carers, Westbank, Farm House Rise, Exminster, EX6 8AT.