Improving the lives of Young Carers in Swindon


What is a Young Carer?

This is how we identify a Young Carer.

A Young Carer is a child or young person under the age of 18 from any ethnic or social background whose life is affected by caring for a member of their family. The person they care for may have a physical or mental illness, a long-term health condition, a terminal illness, or problems with alcohol or drug abuse.

Young carers can live in single parent families and be the main carer. Some will help the main parent to care; some help parents to care for another child and some have more than one person in the family who needs care.

Young carers often fall behind with their schooling. This isn’t because they lack ability, desire or ambition; it's more likely due to poor attendance  because of their caring responsibilities. Or they don’t complete homework because they are tired. Or they can’t revise for exams because there are other calls on their time.

Young carers often have few friends. This isn’t because they’re not friendly or likeable; it’s because given the choice of going to the cinema with mates or looking after a sick parent, they realise they don’t have a choice.

And because they’re a bit different from other kids, Young Carers often fall victim to bullies.

Young Carers need our support

While Young Carers may get additional support from school or sometimes from social services, they miss out on the simple, enjoyable experiences that the vast majority of children take for granted.  For example:

  • talking to a friend or mentor over a snack and drink rather than at home or in an office
  • participating in activities that are fun, educational and confidence building
  • enjoyed chaperoned outings arranged just for them.   They very rarely get the opportunity to go away, due to their responsibilities at home
  • being able to get transport to and from these outings

Friends of Young Carers (Swindon) facilitates these activities, and more, and raises money to enable as many young carers as possible to take advantage.

Find out how to help FOYCS >

What is a Young Carer?