Shine is Carers Support West Sussex’s Young Adult Carers Group. Within this group we run not only support groups but also run workshops and fun events and activities.

Events, Workshops and Groups

We offer emotional support and a chance to make friends with other young adult carers in a similar situation and discuss the things that effect you the most.  The kind of things we talk about are:

  • Making and maintaining relationships and friendships

  • Work and education

  • Time out from your caring role

  • As well as video games, TV, films etc anything we want to

We are working together with West Sussex County Council and their Young Carers Service to run ‘My Future’ Support Groups in Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Worthing and Bognor for 16 – 25 year olds.

If you are 16 – 17 years old and want to find out more about the groups – call 01903 270300 or email  youngcarers@westsussex.gov.uk

If you’re under 18 you can receive support from West Sussex County Council. Find out more on their website here.

If you are 18 – 25 years old and want to find out more about the groups and our services call 0300 028 8888 or email  shine@carerssupport.org.uk.

Information on…

Travel
Housing
Education
Work

Travel

Getting about can be very expensive and this can make it difficult for some people to get out and about, to get to work, college or to socialise with friends. However, there are schemes in place that can help you with the cost of travelling.

16 – 25 Railcard 

If you are aged 16-25 you can get a 16-25 Rail Card which will give you 1/3 off rail travel.  It costs £30 for 1 year or £70 for 3 years. For more information or to apply click here.

Young Person’s Coach Card

If you are aged 16-26 you can get a Young Person’s Coach Card which will give you 1/3 off coach travel on National Express, for £10 for 1 year or £25 for 3 years. For more information or to apply click here.

Education

Your Future

As a young adult, you are at an important stage of your life.  You may be struggling to balance your caring role with the time and space you need for your education, but there is advice and support available to help you build a positive future.

All schools, colleges, universities and employers have a responsibility to recognise your role as a carer, and they have a legal duty to consider how they can support you.  In fact after a successful campaign was launched by a young adult carer a tick box on the UCAS application form will be added so that carers can identify themselves upon application. Read more about it here.  It’s important that you know your rights so that you can get the help and support you are entitled to.

How Colleges and Universities Can Support You in Your Caring Role

Going to college or university can seem a daunting prospect to young people who care for someone.  Therefore many young adult carers are reluctant to continue onto college and may not even consider university.

However, studying in further or higher education can be hugely rewarding and can make a great difference to your life.  College and University can open up all kinds of options and give you a more positive future – and there are many way in which you can be supported in your continuing role as a carer.

Professor Saul Becker, himself a former young carer, is passionate about giving young adult carers a brighter future and has made this YouTube video showing the open day he held at Nottingham University for 150 young adult carers.  It is inspiring and well worth a watch.  

Further Education colleges and universities have policies and practices in place to support you, so that you are not disadvantaged and will have an equal opportunity to study on a course.

Colleges and universities all have services to help support you.  This might be in the form of a pastoral or learning mentor who can advise on any problems or life circumstances which might affect your ability to attend or progress on your course.  Student Unions will also have lots of advice and information to help support you.

Here are two young adult carers’ experiences of college whilst caring.

Jacqui’s story:

Jacqui’s mum had been seriously ill for many years and Jacqui cared for her.  When Jacqui left school she got a place at college on an Equine Studies course to work with horses, which she loves.  Although it wasn’t always easy to balance college and caring, Jacqui got a lot of support from college and especially from her tutor.  Sadly, Jacqui’s mum died towards the end of her college course, but with the support and understanding of her college, she completed the course and now has a really valuable qualification, as well as a great sense of achievement.  Further education helped Jacqui to escape some of the daily difficulties in her life and gave her another perspective on the future.

David’s Story: 

David had a really complex caring role – looking after both his mum and his younger sister.  His social life was extremely limited so going to college for two days a week provided a lifeline and some breathing space in his week.  David studied computer game design.  College was very understanding about David’s caring role and was even able to help him financially – including covering his transport costs.   

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