See our latest messages to Worcestershire Young Carers here:
Our 2017 conference is drawing near
We are less than a month away from our 2017 conference. YC17:Professionals & Us is being planned and delivered by young carers themselves. We have a fantastic keynote speaker – Professor Saul Becker is a former young carer himself and is considered to be one of the worlds leading experts on young carers. Tickets for the event are £15 and can be purchased here
Winter 2017 Newsletter now available!
You can read about everything we have been up to in the build up to the festive season here in the latest copy of the Worcestershire Young Carers newsletter
It’s been a really busy few months for everyone here at Worcestershire Young Carers. The summer may be over and the nights are beginning to draw in, but as the temperatures drop you can take a look back and remember those long warm days of summer with a read of our latest newsletter here
We are now well into our programme of summer activities so we thought we’d give you a little update of what we’ve been up to.
We’ve had three trips to Weston Super Mare for ages 7-12, 13-16 and 17+. We were very lucky with the weather on all occasions which meant we were able to spend some time on the beach and paddling in the sea (which wasn’t too far out by Weston standards!). On all three trips we were able to eat our lunch on the seafront despite being dive bombed by sea…gulls! On every afternoon we visited Westons brand new pier and enjoyed spending our pennies in the amusement arcade as well as taking in some of the even bigger rides.
20 young carers were also treated to another day fishing at broad acres fishing lake courtesy of The Masonic Fishing Charity. Lunch was provided (not fish courses though). As per last years day, all of the young carers who attended really enjoyed the trip and plenty of fish were caught.
Summer 2016 Newsletter
We have just released the brand new Summer 2016 newsletter. It’s action packed with details of what we’ve been up to over the last few months as well as information about what we have coming up in the future. You can read it here: Summer 2016 newsletter electronic version
As we have so much going on for our summer programme we have included a separate letter with the details of our action packed summer programme: Summer Programme details letter
Half Term Trips
We’ve had lots of fun over the half term period . Firstly, 14 young carers aged 7-12 enjoyed a swimming trip to the Dolphin Centre in Bromsgrove. Key worker Lucy Buckland did a fab job in organising the trip, arranging for us to have the entire children’s pool to ourselves, complete with inflatables!
Lucy accompanied the trip with key worker Vicky Parker and volunteers Jon Cawdron and Rona Whitfield. All the young carers thoroughly enjoyed the evening, going out of there wa…y to pick on the staff with giant inflatables and watering cans!
Key worker Vicky Parker said:
“The swimming was a huge success and the young carers thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was great having the children’s pool as it enabled young people of all swimming abilities to take part. The theme was definitely fun, fun and more fun! All the staff were exhausted by the end of the evening, having been chased around the pool by giant inflatables!”.
Next up was a special trip funded by Redditch Lions Club.
10 young carers from Redditch enjoyed food followed by a trip to the cinema during half term. The trip was kindly donated by Redditch Lions, targeting young carers new to the service, those lacking in confidence or those who hadn’t accessed our activities recently.
The group were accompanied by key workers Lucy Buckland and Vicky Parker and after a close vote; it was decided to watch The Jungle Book. This gave the group time to get some much needed food and following a great suggestion from one of the young carers, we headed for the oriental buffet inside the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.
The young carers had a whale of time in the ‘all you can eat’ buffet and particularly enjoyed the ice cream machine! Before we knew it, we had to make a sharp exit as the film was about to start. Popcorn and drinks were quickly purchased before heading into the cinema.
Read all about it !
Great article in todays Worcester News detailing our joint promotional project with Worcestershire Association of Carers and Worcestershire Parent Carers Community. You can read all about here: it Worcester News
Carers Week 2016
6th – 12th June 2016 is national Carers Week – an annual campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers. A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.
The theme for this year’s Carer’s Week is ‘Carer Friendly Communities’ and Worcestershire Association of Carers (WAC), Worcestershire Parent Carers Community (WPCC) and Worcestershire Young Carers (WYC) have joined forces to raise awareness of the campaign, help identify unpaid carers and to signpost people to appropriate support within their community. The three charities will be manning collaborative display stands across the county throughout Carers Week, where members of the public can access information about gaining support. The collaborative campaign will be at the following venues:
- Kingfisher Shopping Centre, Redditch Monday 6th & Tuesday 7th June, 9-5.30pm
- St Johns Sainsburys, Worcester Tuesday 7th June, 9-2.30pm
- Redditch Sainsburys Wednesday 8th June 2-5pm
- Warndon Tesco’s, Worcester Thursday 9th June
- Blackpole Sainsbury’s, Worcester Thursday 9th June 9-2.30pm
- Bromsgrove Market Friday 10th June 9-4.30pm
There will also be a joint display board at County Hall, Worcester from 6th– 10th June.
Vicky Parker, spokesperson for the joint campaign said:
“I am really excited about this year’s campaign as it is the f
irst time all three charities have come together to raise awareness for Carers Week. We will be targeting ‘hidden’ carers – those who do not identify themselves as a carer, but are quietly going about their care role without accessing any support. Also, many people assume carers are adults looking after the elderly – this is not always the case and we want to highlight that unpaid carers can include children, young people and parents. This is a fantastic opportunity for members of the public to find information about all three organisations in one place”.
Very important information for Worcestershire Young
Carers and their families:
Our service continues to grow and thanks to local awareness raising and partnership working we are working with more and more young carers than ever before and expect the n…umbers to increase further.
With this in mind, we have decided to run 3 trial sessions for our young carers from Redditch and Bromsgrove. These sessions will be held within regular youth sessions on the following dates and at the following venues:
• Friday 10th June – 6pm-8.30pm
Redditch Community House, Easmore Road (13+ year olds)
• Thursday 7th July 5pm-6.30pm
Batchley Community Centre (7-12 year olds)
• Thursday 7th July 7pm-9pm (directly after junior club)
Batchley Community Centre (13+ year olds)
YSS Worcestershire Young Carers and Young Adult Carers
For the young carers in Redditch and Bromsgrove, these clubs will be replacing the regular Worcester City club.
Keyworker Vicky Parker will be leading the trial and will be present at all clubs, so as well as having access to all of the regular activities on offer, there will still be support from a friendly face.
Yours and your children’s feedback is very important to us – and we will be giving you the opportunity to let us know how well you felt the trial went and any suggestions you may have to improve the service.
All other activities and trips will continue as normal – we will be writing to all families within the next few weeks to give you details of the summer programme and how you can book places.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this in more depth, you are very welcome to call me on 01905 619886.
We are currently working hard on a bit of a website refurbishment so please bear with us. In the meantime, here is the latest newsletter showing all that we have been up to, as well as some stuff you may want to get involved with in the coming weeks…..Spring 2016 newsletter
Big news for young carers!
Following a recent Worcestershire County Council tendering process, YSS is delighted to announce that we have been successful in our bid to continue delivering the Worcestershire Young Carers project, for the next 3 years. YSS have held this contract since 2003 and the award of the new contract is a testament to all of the great work YSS has carried out over those previous years.
We now have the opportunity to continue reaching more and more young carers from across the …county who will benefit from the projects support. We are currently supporting 269, ( aged 7-24 inclusive) yet we know from the 2011 census that there are potentially over 3000 young carers in Worcestershire.
Our young carers were involved in the tendering process and consultations with them will continue to influence the service as it moves forward. The Young Carers Voice is very important to us and we highly value their feedback too.
Lorraine Preece, YSS CEO, praised the work done by the YSS Worcestershire Young Carers team, over the past 13 years and said” I am absolutely delighted that YSS has been awarded this contract and can now continue to help improve lives of young carers across the county. “
Angela Parton, YSS Operations Director added “ We are thrilled that this project working with this often hidden group of young people can now develop further and will continue to be run by YSS. We are also delighted that Neil Philips has been appointed as Senior Key Worker to lead the team.”
Young Adult Carer Lauren Walton was very pleased and said “Knowing that young carers is still going to be run by YSS is great news and also a bit of a relief. The way they run things is so smooth and so considerate of us as young carers that it would be so bizarre if another company took over. They have made such a positive difference to many young carers lives, including my own, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us over the next few years!”
For more information on the YSS Worcestershire Young Carers Service please see www.yss.org.uk/young-carers or contact our dedicated line 01905 619 886
National Young Carers Awareness Day
Thursday 28th of January was National Young Carers Awareness day (YCAD) and it’s fair to say it was a huge success. Up and down the country social media took the lead role and played a huge part in promoting awareness. #YCAD was trending with the overall on line presence reaching 2.5 million through twitter along with Facebook and Thunderclaps.
Mainstream media took notice with mentions on BBC and ITV news, along with a feature on ITV’s “This Morning” programme which left host Holly Willoughby in tears at the great work of young carers.
Worcestershire Young Carers played their part locally and were featured in not one but TWO stories in Wednesday 27th January’s edition of Worcester News. Firstly, we were featured in an article about WODYS, and being their chosen charity of the year. You can read the full story HERE
The centre pages of the same issue also featured an article highlighting the stories of two of our young carers, Edward Edkins and Yasmin Ford. They talked about their caring role at home, the effect it has on them and the support they have received from YSS Worcestershire Young Carers. You can read their stories HERE
We got involved through social media too. Our WYC Facebook page reached 2627 people with our YCA day posts – this is our highest number since the page started. On twitter we sent over 60 tweets/retweets across the day. In case you didn’t see them, some examples were:
People also tweeted about our service and how they’ve been involved:
“my kids go to Worcester yss and love it done so much to help and encourage them”
We linked up with Worcestershire County Council to promote the day and they supported us on their social media platforms. Cllr John Campion, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families provided some words of support: “We want to make sure children and young people in Worcestershire who are carers have the same rights as all children and young people. Young carers should be able to learn, develop friendships and enjoy a positive, healthy childhood, just like other children and young people.
“The council continues its drive to raise awareness, reach, identify and appropriately support more young carers. We are a proud supporter of Young Carers Awareness Day and we hope that it will encourage the residents of Worcestershire to look out for young carers and help them get the support they deserve.”
We also shared information with school across the county through their EduLink information system and sent out our offer of delivering a young carers themed school assembly or teacher training day. The offer was to look at the work of our team, experiences of young carers, signs and symptoms of being a young carer, what they do and the impact it has on them. We received lots of interest from across the county and are excited to be meeting up with a focus group of school nurses to develop the idea further.
Neil Phillips, Senior Key Worker YSS Worcestershire Young Carers added “We would like to say a huge thank you to all of you, who helped raise awareness, shared posts, stuck up posters and generally spread the message about this important group of young people.”
Read all about it!
Hot off the press here is the latest Worcestershire Young Carers newsletter for Winter 2016. You can find out all that we have been up to over the festive period as well as an insight into what we have coming up over the next few months.
New 0-19 Prevention Service Survey for
parents & CYP
Worcestershire County Council are commissioning a new 0-19 Prevention service for children, young people and families to commence October 2016. To help shape the service model, we are talking with both parents and young people using focus groups and survey feedback to hear their views. As part of this co-production period an online survey for parents and young people has been launched and we would encourage you to h…elp publicise this through your services.
Survey launched for parents and children & young people to help shape the new 0-19 Prevention Service Model
The Council is redesigning a new prevention service for children, young people age 0-19 and their families. We want parents and children & young people to help shape the design of this service. Read more and take part in our survey HERE
The survey will end Friday 29th January 2016
Supporting children and young people to
understand their rights……
The Council for Disabled Children and the National Children’s Bureau have launched the ‘Get Your Rights’ website to support children and young people to understand their rights when using the NHS. The website aims to set out children and young people’s rights in an interactive and accessible way, with videos from young people telling their stories about how the rights have made a difference to them, and messages from professionals explaining why they value young people’s rights. There is also a resource hub with links to practical support for professionals. More details can be found HERE
A DATE FOR YOUR DIARY:
National Young Carers Awareness day:
Carers Trust are launching the first ever National Young Carers Awareness day on 28th January 2016. The idea behind the day is to get everyone talking about the thousands of carers who are so often unidentified, and who miss out on the vital services and support they are entitled to.
We are very keen for Worcestershire Young Carers to become involved and will be bringing you updates of different opportunities in the coming few weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for more information soon. But in the meantime you can read more about the day HERE.
Autumn 2015 newsletter is here: read it now
Know Your Rights pack for young carers in England
This pack aims to make young carers aware of their rights –human rights, legal rights, and rights to access things like benefits, support and advice. It has now been updated to include the new rights under the Care Act 2015 and Children and Families Act 2015.
Need to know where to find things out in a hurry? The pack is designed to easily link to areas you are interested in, and signpost to external information when needed. It has lots of links to useful and interesting resources that can help – and help raise awareness about young carers’ issues!
‘ Babble : the new online service for young carers
We are delighted to be able
to tell you that you can now see the new online service for young carers, Babble, The new website and online community has been created to provide friendship and support online for young carers under 18. It will replace YCNet and can be found at the same address www.youngcarers.net or http://babble.carers.org.
Babble is a dynamic online space where young carers can find others in a similar position, chat to each other, share their stories and hear about each other’s experiences in a safe environment. They can also share images, video and keep an online diary. It has been shaped by talking to young carers about what they want, with emphasis on the content being provided by other young carers.
As well as the support and friendship young carers can find with each other, they will also have access to help and advice, email and chat sessions with the Online Support Team, who also act as site moderators.
N.B. Babble is for under 18s, but we expect that 16 to 18 year olds may be more at home on Matter
Do have a look at this: A new website for young adult carers – ‘Matter’ :
Carers Trust’s new online community for young adult carers to connect, share stories, and exchange trusted support is now live.
Built for and by young adult carers, Matter is part social network, part online advice centre. It is a safe online space to help 16–25-year-old young adult carers feel less isolated from others in similar situations. Users can post updates, comment on and like each other’s posts, and exchange private messages.
Worcestershire Young Carers conference 2015
A YOUNG carer from Worcestershire has spoken of the “honour” of meeting Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.
Mark Marshall, 15, who has looked after his mother for 8 years since his father’s death, came face-to-face with Princess Anne at the YSS Worcestershire Young Carers conference – an event he helped organise alongside a team of other young carers.
He said: “It was an honour to meet Her Royal Highness.
“She was extremely pleasant and really down to earth.
“It’s been such good fun organising the conference and helping to promote the work YSS and the volunteers do for us.”
Princess Anne, who is a patron of YSS, has been a long-standing supporter of the charity’s work supporting young people who regularly care for a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or has an alcohol or drug misuse problem.
She gave a keynote speech at the conference, which took place at Hartlebury-based communications agency drp, and was greeted by cheering, flag-waving pupils from Hartlebury CE Primary School on her arrival.
Lady Susanna McFarlane, chairman of the YSS trustees, said: “The Princess Royal has been our patron since 2008, so for over seven years.
“We’ve been lucky enough to have had five visits from her during that time.
“She has a keen interest in YSS and her attention to detail and in-depth knowledge is paramount to the success we have gained through her support and attendance at our conference today. She helps us to have our voice heard and punch above our weight.
“At every event she has attended, her presence has generated significant publicity in the local media, increased our profile and raised awareness of the issues we are trying to address.
“It opens so many doors to us and the young carers are overjoyed to have had her at this event that they themselves have executed so beautifully.”
Mary Lewis, YSS Worcestershire Young Carers team manager, added: “We are thrilled that Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, agreed to be so closely involved in the day, which provided young carers with the chance to talk to various agencies and professionals and help us investigate how to reach out to help more young carers.”
The conference featured testimonials from a number of young carers, who told personal stories of how they strive through life juggling home responsibilities with school.
It was also attended by professionals who work with young people in the county and aimed to explore how better support can be provided to these inspiring teenagers.
Currently 227 young people are supported by Worcestershire Young Carers but statistics suggest this represents only a minority of the real number of young carers in the county.
More than 3,000 young people in Worcestershire were identified as young carers in the 2011 census.