Young caregivers from around the Wakefield district are to hold awareness events for frontline staff at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to help raise awareness of young carers and their responsibilities.
The Trust provides a range of community, mental health and learning disability services in Wakefield and regularly sees the pressures that fall upon young people who care for a relative.
The events for frontline staff within the Trust will be held on 4th and 11th August and are being planned, created and delivered by local carers who are members of the Wakefield District Young Carers Project, which is provided by Barnardos.
The events are a result of the Trust’s Young Carers Young Voice dialogue group, which has met with Trust members and staff to discuss how the Trust can best support these young people. It is hoped the events will explore ways of improving service provision to take into account the needs of a young carer and educate health professionals about the responsibilities on young carers’ shoulders and enable them to provide any support possible to ease the pressure.
There are about 175,000 young carers in the UK who provide care or support to a family member who is disabled, physically or mentally ill, or has a substance misuse problem. Young carers often take on a level of responsibility that is inappropriate to their age or development so helping local organisations to understand their role is well needed.
The Trust hopes that by facilitating this event staff will be able to offer a improved quality of care that is appropriate to the needs of the service user and their carers.
Staff will be invited to ask questions to learn more about a young carers experiences and chief executive Steven Michael and Chair Joyce Catterick will be offering their support.
Speaking about the events equality and inclusion development co-ordinator Lynn Fowley said, "Many carers don’t see themselves as carers. In fact, it takes carers an average of two years to acknowledge their role as a carer. As a carer they play a central role in the care process and can provide essential information that only they as a relative or friend would know. The Trust is committed to working together with carers to help us provide the best possible care to help minimise any stay in hospital and maximise their recovery. We want to make sure that carers feel supported and staff are always happy to discuss any concerns and are on hand to help them access support."