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Information for Young Carers

Are you a Young Carer?

***We no longer have funding for our dedicated Young Carers service, so this service is now closed***

However, Shetland Carers can continue to offer information and advice to young carers, as well as Short Break grants and Respitality breaks - see below:

A Young Carer is someone who is under 18 years of age, 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 18-25 years providing the same support.

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?

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 or learning difficulty
  • Elderly
  • Mental ill-health
  • An addiction to drugs or alcohol

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 with 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?

If you need more information about what being a Young Carer is, this short video may help.

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 know then 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 check out our social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter which has some useful links and information.

"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

Educational Psychology Service

Tel: 01595 745588


Duty Social Work

Tel: 01595 744420

Shetland Befriending Scheme may be able to support young carers up to the age of 15 years. Please see criteria listed on their website.

Tel: 01595 743907

Mind Your Head

Tel: 01595 745035

Sidekick is a confidential helpline for Young Carers in the UK. You can message them at any time, about anything that’s bothering you as a young carer.

Find out more by clicking HERE.

To access a Short Break grant, please click HERE.

To access a Respitality break, please click HERE.

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