Herefordshire Young & Young Adult Carers would like to say A HUGE THANK YOU to the Masonic Charitable Trust for their very generous donation of £14,420.
Also A HUGE THANK YOU to our local Hereford Freemasons Lodge, for their kind donation of £750.
So who are young and young adult carers?
They are any child or young person between 8 and 25 with a caring responsibility for a family member with a long term illness, disability, drug or alcohol addiction or a mental health condition. Young and young adult carers often take on practical and or emotional support that be excessive and inappropriate. These caring responsibilities can have a huge impact on their childhood, development and achievements. Due to their caring role their social life can be very limited, they often feel isolated, experience being bullied and can suffer from low self esteem and poor mental health themselves.
How do we help?
We provide clubs around Herefordshire for our young and young adult carers to have a safe space to meet. It's an opportunity to make new friends that are in a similar situation, a break from their caring responsibilities and most importantly, to have FUN.
The Young Adult Carer group is run slightly differently, as they are older. Some of the Yac group attend college or university, training or working, so they value peer support and can have access to 1-1 sessions, advice, information or support.
We offer trips, outings and activities in the holidays for both groups, dependant on funds.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, we have continued to provide a service for Herefordshire Young and Young Adult Carers. The Young Carer clubs were moved online and met via Zoom, for games, competitions, workshops and chat.
The Young Adult Carers have continued to meet up (adhering to Covid rules) for one to one sessions to access advice, information and emotional support, travelling across the county to visit isolated young adult carers, which is much appreciated by those with no transport.
There has been an increase in stress, anxiety and depression reported to us from our young people, along with increased hours spent in their caring roles, under lockdown so many haven't been able to have a break at all.
Now post lockdown, we are already seeing an increase in demand for our service, with more young people becoming carers and existing carers requiring more support.
With this money we are able to provide increased support, with an emphasis on improved mental health and to reduce social isolation.
This would include - Respite from their caring roles through access to clubs, groups, trips and activities.
An opportunity to make new friends and access peer support.
Advice, advocacy and support with juggling education, work and caring responsibilities, applying for grants, help with benefits, housing and other issues.
Emotional support - access to 1-1 support
Befriending - someone to talk to on a regular basis to reduce isolation and loneliness.
Our young and young adult carers will hugely benefit from us being able to provide increased support, trips and activities with these excellent donations.
The Young Adult Carers have already enjoyed a cinema trip, a well needed break from their caring responsibilities.