A significant number of young people in Herefordshire look after a member of their family or a friend with a disability or long term illness. While this can be very rewarding it can also impact on their own lives and development.
There are 229,318 Young Adult Carers aged 16-24 in the UK and this is 5.3% of all people in that age group. One quarter of all Young Adult Carers in the UK (56,069 people) are providing care for more than 20 hours per week and almost 27,000 of these, (12% of the total) are providing care for more than 50 hours each week. (Census 2011)
If you are one of them you will know how much time you spend caring and coping on your own. You may not be aware but you are not the only young carer around or that support exists to help you.
Specifically for the 16 to 25 age group, Herefordshire YAC (Young Adult Carers) can help in a wide variety of ways. These include signposting to other relevant agencies, help and support with college/university, training and employment, housing and other benefits, access to counselling, as well as meeting others socially in a similar situation.
Herefordshire YAC is an important part of Herefordshire Carers Support – a registered charity which provides a wide range of practical help, support and advice to the Caring Community in Herefordshire.
This new club was started in November to cater for the 16 to 25 age group. Led by the group they have already organised the evenings to include guest speakers on a variety of topics including supported housing, sex education (in a fun way – serious but light hearted) as well as a musical evening with a famous DJ/Rapper and four workshops to help with coping strategies, self esteem etc.
Earlier this year they were awarded £1,600 from the Youth Opportunities Fund. This was organised and applied for by the members and will be used for an educational/cultural trip early next year.
At the 6th form college they have recently started a ‘drop in centre’ every Tuesday from 1.05pm to 2.05pm in the Well Being Centre. If anyone with a caring role at college, get in touch (and even if you are not struggling!)
HYAC meets fortnightly on a Tuesday from 6.30pm to 9.00pm in Hereford. It’s a small, friendly group which offers advice and support and is somewhere to meet new friends in similar circumstances and be able to ‘chill out’ and have some ‘me time’.
How HYAC helps
At a recent HYAC gathering some were asked “Why HYAC” and this is what they said…
“Meet people in the same situation as you”
“Break from home”
“Relaxed time to yourself”
“Meet new people”
“Be with people the same age”
“Get out to places”
“One to one support”
“Information and advice”
If you care for someone and would like to know more about HYAC or Herefordshire Carers Support, click here to get in touch.
Enjoying a break away from our caring responsibilities…