Caring Is Sharing

Funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation for a Young Carer Support Officer has helped the St Helens Carers Centre continue to help young people enjoy their childhood alongside their caring responsibilities.

The St Helens Carers Centre aims to be a one-stop shop for carers where they can receive all the necessary support, including emotional support as well as advice and information, to help them with their responsibilities or give them a break from their caring role.

The Steve Morgan Foundation are a year through a three-year grant for the YCSO role which is vital in offering extensive support to the young carers and improving their relationships and general opportunities in life.

‘The grant award received from Steve Morgan Foundation has helped us to create further opportunities for Young Carers to be children, and not just a Carer,” says Lorraine Pennington, Head of the Young Carers at the St Helens Carers Centre.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the Trustees for their support, enabling us to work with more Young Carers and their families.

“We have been able to introduce basic measures that make a real difference to the mental wellbeing of the Young Carer, helping them to become more resilient so that they can cope better with their caring responsibilities.

“At present, due to many cases of mental health illnesses and alcohol and drug mis-use, there is an increase in the number of children and young people who are having to become Young Carers.

“The funding we have received has helped us to protect those Young Carers from undertaking inappropriate caring roles, and helping us to safeguard them from abuse, neglect and harm because they are so vulnerable.”

The advice and information provided to Young Carers, for which the YCSO helps co-ordinate, is extensive.

The service has supported 116 new Young Carers over the last year, of which 31 were supported by the role which is being funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The additional one-to-one support provided by the YSCO has enjoyed results in improving the relationship between the carer and the person they are caring for, and arranging additional care packages freeing up the Young Carer to more easily attend school or college.

The YCSO has been able to undertake home visits or go into schools and colleges to meet the Young Carer, helping to improve the situation for all concerned.

The Activities programme also helps the Young Carer build up their confidence and self-esteem, also offering the opportunity to meet new friends with whom they then keep in touch with away from the organisation.

Those activities have included arts, crafts and music, and, for example, a Mexican evening during the recent Carers Week.

Afterwards one of the carers said:  “I liked everything, being with my friends, and leaving the home to relax.” 

 Jane Harris, Regional Grants Director with the Steve Morgan Foundation, added: “We were really pleased to receive the report from the St Helens Caring Centre outlining how the role of the Young Carer Support Officer has helped their work with young people.

“This is such an important charity providing support, advice and training to young carers aged between six and 18, and helping them to break down the barriers which caring might place on their own development.

“Caring responsibilities typically mean that young carers miss out on childhood and do not get the same opportunities as their peers.

“The St Helens Carers Centre not only help the young people with advice and support but provide opportunities for social activities where they can get to know others who are going through similar experiences and forge new friendships as a result.”



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