The issue is simple…

One in twelve of the 4,029 schoolchildren asked by a BBC survey in 2010 said they had caring responsibilities – such as dressing, washing or bathing family members. If the survey reflects the UK as a whole, it would mean there are about 700,000 young carers in the UK. The 2011 census, though, identified only 178,000 young carers.

These figures means that in Norfolk alone there will be at least one young carer per class, 39% of these say their school doesn’t know they’re a carer.

Amongst the many issues concerning young carers we include:

  • Physical health: lack of sleep, poor diet, physical strain through lifting adults
  • Emotional Wellbeing: stress, tiredness and mental health
  • Isolation: from peers and friends, 68% or 2 out of 3 young carers are bullied
  • Unstable environment: bereavement, family break up, low income, traumatized by observing illness
  • Education and Attainment: 27% in secondary school experience educational difficulties or miss school; 40% who live with substance abusers are failing at school; at aged 16 – 18 young carers are twice as likely to leave school and become NEET (not in education, employment or training) according to the Audit Commission.

We want to help…

…by developing a schools based tour. This exciting piece of theatre would inspire, engage and empower teachers to deal with the sensitive issues surrounding young carers. The production could enhance and enrich other efforts that are being made to address inequalities for young carers in our schools.

It would also offer a similar empowerment to young people, so they can help identify and support peers who are in a caring role. And of course, help those to identify themselves as young carers and seek support to access the services on offer to them.

… by delivering an impact on the 39% of young carers who have not disclosed their situation to approach either their schools or their local young carers organisations for support.

It will not be a one-off engagement. Providing resources and support to teachers to start the work before our visit, and build on it after our visit too. By directly engaging young people and workshopping with them, we hope to create champions who will continue having an impact within a school and strengthen participation with local forums.

We need you…

To help take the tour in to schools and the community.  With your support we can bring Freefall to the point of being able to showcase the work and then tour to many schools in the Autumn of 2017 and beyond.  Our current fundraising target is £8,000 per week of touring in which we can visit up to 8 schools and a local venue.

If you would like to provide us with a grant or donation of any size, or can offer anything at all to support us then please email Emrys on emrys@unittwentythree.co.uk

You can also make a donation of any size by visiting our donate page.