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Young Adult Carers

Young Adult Carers 2018-03-07T15:09:26+00:00

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

Events, Workshops and Groups

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.  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 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 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.

Routes to Work Scheme

If you are aged 16-18 you may be able to receive journey planning advice when looking for work, and a free bus pass for the first four weeks when you start a job.  You can apply if you:

  • Are aged 16-18

  • Are involved with the West Sussex Youth Service

  • Are not in training, education or employment

  • Have an offer of a job for more than 16 hours a week

  • Live more than one and half miles away from your new place of work and your employer can give evidence of the job offer.

For more information click here.   Or if you think you may be eligible and want to apply, or have any questions about the scheme, talk to a member of staff at your local Find It Out Centre.  To find your nearest centre click here

Disabled Persons’ Railcard

If you have a disability you can apply for a disabled person’s railcard which will save you 1/3 on the rail ticket. If you are caring for someone with a disability they can apply for a disabled person’s railcard and save 1/3 on the rail ticket for both of you when you travel together.

It costs £20 for 1 year or £54 for 3 years. For more information or to apply click here.

Disabled Person’s Bus Pass

If you have a disability you may be eligible for a disabled person’s bus pass which gives you free travel on local buses. If you are caring for someone with a disability then they may be eligible for a disabled person’s bus pass, so you can access free travel when travelling together.

To find out more information or apply click here or email buspass@westsussex.gov.uk  or call 0845 075 1018.

Housing

Choosing to move out and away from the person that you care for can be a difficult decision to make, however, whether you are going to university or moving out for your own independence it can be a very important step to take.

If you feel you can, it is important to discuss moving out with the person that you care for and the rest of the people involved. This way you can work together to put a plan in place for what will happen after you have moved out.

When you move out, it doesn’t mean that you are no longer a carer. You might want to arrange times when you are able to come back and care for you loved one or support them over the phone.

There is a wide range of simple home based technology that can support you and the person you care for to remain safe at home. Our Equipment for Independence scheme means you can try equipment free for three months. Items include a lifeline pendant, fall detector, door sensor and key safe.  For more information about our Equipment for Independence please click here

Find It Out Centres

To get some local information and personalised advice, you can contact your local Find It Out Centre. Find your local one here.

Shelter

Shelter have some good practical advice on moving out of home and what you should consider.  They offer free sessions with advisors to discuss your situation.  To visit the website and find out more information and advice click here.  Their helpful leaflet on leaving home is also downloadable by clicking 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.

School

School may be an opportunity for you to get away from your caring worries for a while, but it can also bring extra pressures.  For example, you may struggle to keep up to date with your homework or you may have to miss school fairly often.

Getting behind at school or missing school can affect your whole future, so it’s important that you access the help and support that school can provide.

You are not alone.  A typical secondary school may have up to 30 young carers in it.   School won’t be able to help until it knows about your caring role.  This could mean talking to your teacher, head of year, educational welfare office or head of pastoral care.  Tell them about how caring affects you. You could also ask a parent to write to school for you to tell them about your caring role.  School should be able to offer things like:

  • Allowing you to have your phone on in lessons to keep in touch with home.

  • Giving you extra time for school work, especially when the person you care for is ill.

  • Talking to you privately about your home life.

  • Homework clubs.

Other people who can help you are:

  • Your GP – they can work with other professionals like Social Workers, to organise more support at home to help you concentrate on school or college.

  • Carers Support West Sussex – We have a dedicated Young Adult Carer Team who can offer you information and advice on what support is available to you.

  • Childline – Some people may not understand or value those who care for others and can even bully young carers.  If you are being bullied, tell a friend, parent or teacher about it or contact Childline free by calling 0800 1111, or visiting their website to access their online chat and counselling services.

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.   

How can I afford to go to College or University?

Many courses at college in reading, writing and basic maths are free, and you may not have to pay for tuition if you’re under 24 and studying for your first qualification equivalent to GCSE or A level.

There is also a range of financial help available to go to college if you meet specific criteria or are receiving income-related benefits.  This could include help with not only the cost of your course, but help with your day-to-day living costs and childcare.  More information on this help can be found here.

And, if you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone with substantial caring needs, and that person claims benefits related to their needs, you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance (if studying part-time for less than 21 hours per week).

There is also help with the cost of university.  Most students today finance their courses through a student loan, but there is other help available in the way of scholarships, bursaries and a hardship fund.   For more information click here.

Carers Support West Sussex may also be able help you with a grant from our Carers Health and Wellbeing Fund, for more information click here.

Work

Young Adult Carers and Work

As a young adult, you have many options open to you.  It may seem impossible to fit a job in around your caring role but with some support and advice is it achievable. All employers have a responsibility to recognise your role as a carer, and they have a legal duty to consider how they can support you.  It’s important that you know your rights so that you can get the help and support you are entitled to.

Getting a Job and Planning a Career

Whether you are planning to work straight after leaving school, or after completing further or higher education, as a carer you will not be alone.  There are over three million carers in the UK workforce. You may be worried that telling employers about your caring role will limit your chances of finding a job or keeping one, so it is important to know that it is your lawful right to be treated fairly and to have your caring role recognised.

For example, the Work and Families Act 2006 gives carers the right to request flexible working and employers have a duty to consider such requests. This right applies to carers of spouses or adult near relatives who are living at the same address as you as long as you have worked for your employer for a minimum of 26 weeks.
You can also ask your employer to consider any of the following:

  • Flexible starting and finishing times

  • Compressed working hours

  • Annualised working hours

  • Job-sharing or part-time working

  • Home working or tele-working

  • Term-time working

When you are applying for a job or at interview, you might also want to let employers know about what you have learned from your caring role. Caring often involves complex and demanding tasks, as well as values like empathy, responsibility and patience that potential employers value.

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