Young Carers Awareness Day raises awareness of the challenges faced by Young Carers and campaigns for greater support for them.

Although the day itself was on 30 January, Surrey Heartlands believes Young Carers  deserve more than just a day so we have signed up not only to the ‘Count Me In’ Awareness Day campaign but to a Memorandum of Understanding which pledges Surrey Heartlands partner organisations to do more to proactively identify Young Carers and to ensure that they receive the recognition and support they deserve.

Every day across the UK thousands of young people help to look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. There are more than 11,000 Young Carers in Surrey Heartlands with almost 15,000 in Surrey as a whole.

Recent research shows that one in five secondary school children may be a young carer. For many, their caring journey begins at a much younger age. Caring for someone can be very isolating, worrying and stressful. For Young Carers, this can negatively impact on their experiences and outcomes in education, having a lasting effect on their life chances.

It is very easy for Young Carers to go unidentified and unsupported. In Surrey, we have a Young Carer Pathway which supports staff to recognise and support Young Carers appropriately.

The NHS Young Carer Health Champions have developed their own film Out of the Woods describing why they think it is important that they are identified and supported.