A young adult carer is a young person aged 16-25 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. There are about 376,000 young adult carers in the UK.
What might a young adult carer do?
- Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
- Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed.
- Emotional support, such as talking to someone who is distressed.
- Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
- Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
- Helping to give medicine.
- Helping someone communicate.
- Looking after brothers and sisters.
Being a young adult carer can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up
- It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
- Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
- In a survey, 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.
- 26% have been bullied at school because of their caring role.
- 1 in 20 miss school because of their caring role.
But young people can learn lots of useful skills by being a young carer.
Young carer and young adult carers in England have the right to information and to an assessment of the support they need from the council.
The Carers Trust have written a free guide which explains what those rights are. It also tells you what should happen when you talk to the council about being a young carer or young adult carer. Young carers and young adult carers gave us advice about what would make this a great resource for them and their peers.
It is written for all young carers and young adult carers, especially for those aged eight to twenty-five.
Where to find support
If you provide a caring role and are aged between 16 - 24 then you are a Young Adult Carer and can access specialist support from our carers team.
The Young Adult Carer project aims to support young people aged 16 to 24 who are in a caring role by offering them specialist support and the opportunity to have a break from their caring role and meet others who are in a similar situation.
From the Autumn, Carers FIRST will be running social groups in Newham as well as workshops to help young adult carers with their caring role and to ensure they are looking after their own health and wellbeing.
Take a look at our magazine "Who Cares?" which has been co-produced with Young Adult Carers and is full of useful information. You can read on on-line version or if you would like a hard copy, please contact us:
- phone our Carers Hub on 0300 303 1555
- email us at Young Adults@carersfirst.org.uk
visit our facebook page
Listed below is some information, links and resources which you may find useful
Getting your finances in order may sometimes seem overwhelming and complicated. It can be difficult knowing what the best choices for you are, however there are a number of resources that may be able to help you to make informed decisions about your money.
Money Saving Expert has tips and tricks for 16 to 25-year-olds to help reach their goal of financial independence:
Money Advice Service has lots of really handy guides:
- beginners guide to managing your money.
- Living on a budget
- Paying Bills
- Improving you Credit Score
- Budget Planner
Citizens Advice also provide free impartial information on finances.
Many Young Adult Carers struggle to find the time to pursue higher or further education. There are however many ways in which someone can still attend education with the flexibility of being able to provide their caring responsibilities.
Higher education can give young adult carers the independence and skills they need for their chosen career. If you are a Young Adult Carer thinking about pursuing a degree at university, UCAS has some information that might be useful to you.
The Open University provide information on higher education courses that you can study from home and at a time that suits you.
The Young People’s Learning Provision (YPLP) provides education courses to 16-24 year olds across Lincolnshire.
They offer alternative education programmes for young people aged between 16 and 24 that can be started at any time of the year.
Your Sexual Health is important to look after. The NHS Choices has information on sexual health and how to stay safe.
Healthy Eating is also important because getting the right nutrients helps to keep your energy and concentration levels up. A poor diet can also lead to other associated health problems. The NHS Choices also offers some practical tips on how to eat healthy.
Alternatively the British Nutrition Foundation also have information on how to eat healthy and include a visual guide which can be downloaded.
It is important to look after your own mental health. It is easy to take on too much at once and this can lead to you feeling stressed or burned out. There are a number of online resources that give tips and help on how to promote good mental health.
Headspace can help you to meditate and live mindfully. It provides themed sessions on everything from stress to sleep and includes bite-sized meditations for busy schedules. There is a free version and a paid premium subscription.
Mind is a leading charity on mental health and they have a useful guide that explains what stress is, what might cause it and how it can affect you. It also includes information about ways you can help yourself and how to get support.
Other useful resources
Carers UK have a place in their forum specifically for for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
The Really Useful Book of Learning and Earning for Young Adult Carers is aimed at young adults (aged 16-25) in England who are looking after somebody else. This resource includes useful information about looking after your health and wellbeing, job hunting, housing, health services, learning, working and volunteering, and money management.
Young Adult Carers may prefer to use technology to help with their caring role. To find out more about how technology can support your caring role visit our ‘Practical Help’ page.