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Information for Young Carers

Are you a Young carer?

A Young carer is someone who is 18 years or under who provides unpaid support to a family member or friend who could not manage without this help due to illness, disability, mental ill-health or a substance misuse problem. If you care for someone in this way, help is available to you. A young adult carer is anyone age 18-24 years providing the same support.

You are a young carer if you’re under 18 years and help to look after someone at home. The person you help to look after might have one or more of the following:

  • A serious illness, a disability, learning difficulty, be elderly, have mental ill-health, or a problem with drugs or alcohol.

Every young carer's situation is different, but the help you give could include things such as:

  • Shopping
  • Cooking
  • Washing
  • Nursing care (such as giving medication or helping someone get in and out of bed)
  • Helping someone get washed and dressed
  • Spending time sitting with somebody for company or listening to their problems

You might also be looking after brothers or sisters because your parents are not able to, or they might need help at certain times.

Being a Young Carer?

While everyone is different, lots of young carers have similar experiences and feelings.

Sometimes it might help to know that there are young carers out there who may think and feel the same way you do. In fact there are thousands of young carers in Scotland.

Lots of young carers feel good about what they do but it can be tough too. Maybe you worry a lot about the person you care for. Perhaps you find it hard to join in things, or spend time with friends because of the things you do at home.

Sometimes it might be hard to concentrate at school, or you may find it hard to do your homework because you are tired. You might also feel different to others your age and be worried about being bullied.

Help and Support

Whatever you feel about being a young carer, it can help to talk to an adult who can give you useful advice and support.

There are lots of people who can help you if they know you are a young carer, but if they don't they may not notice you are having problems.

Talk to your teachers in school; they can offer advice and practical support and can put you in touch with other people who might also be able to help.

You can also talk to the Young Carers Support Worker at Market House or you check out the Shetland Carers website or Facebook page which have some useful links and information. Here at VAS we have a young carers group that regularly meet up for a chat and a coffee with our worker.

"It's so helpful to share these things with people who just get what you are going through without you having to explain it all"

~ Young Carer

Useful Contacts

Psychological Services
Tel: 01595 745588

Laura Russell / Kirsten Harcus
Shetland Carers
Market House
14 Market Street
Tel: 01595 743909 / 743980

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