YSS key worker and 3 teenage Worcestershire Young Carers who care for their bed bound Dad: interviews on BBC Hereford & Worcester Radio

The life of the  teenage Young Carers was put in the spotlight today in a radio interview on BBC Hereford& Worcester breakfast show  with 3 teenage girls, looking  after  their bed bound Dad.

The 13 year old explained  how she gets up at 6am, gets her Dad a drink, feeds the  dog, makes sure he is safe  while she then gets ready for school herself.  She  does the ironing, housework, cooking, makes drinks of coffee, helps him get up, and helps with many day to day chores. She has helped to look after him all her life, and it can get her  really down at times, as she has her own problems  to deal with too.  Her Dad  has needed more help since 2011 as  his health  has  deteriorated. Recently she had done a practice exam  but this added lots of extra stress and was very tough.  Her Dad said ” he can get very depressed”.

Also interviewed was YSS Worcestershire Young Carers team   key worker Neil Phillips. He explained that the number of  young carers locally  is growing. YSS has 180 cases  at present, but this is the  tip of the iceberg. Many  families do not come  forward, and so the young carers remain hidden. Some have been caring for so long they  do not  recognise themselves as young carers.

Often they do not  do well at school, and are less likely to go  on to Further Education. This can  then affect their job prospects.

Neil said” They struggle at school often because of the amount of  cores they do at home, leaving no opportunities for homework. They can struggle to stay awake at school, and are also prone to bullying”.

” It is an  uphill battle with less funding, more  cuts, and relying more on volunteers. YSS offers support at different levels depending on the young carers needs.  Approximately 25 cases  have intensive 1:1 support. Many others have  monthly support  in a  club, with activities for them to enjoy and take them away from their caring duties”.

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