Thursday, July 18, 2024
Local News from North & South Tyneside

Pledging Support for Young Carers

South Tyneside Council has become the first in the country to sign a covenant promising to take practical and meaningful action for young carers.

The Young Carers’ Covenant is a series of outcomes that young people from across the UK have highlighted as being key to improving their lives. By signing the covenant, the Council is demonstrating its commitment to make these outcomes a reality and ensure young carers and young adult carers have the same life opportunities as their peers.

The covenant was signed by Leader of the Council, Councillor Tracey Dixon and Cllr Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children and Families’ Social Care as part of activities to mark Young Carers’ Action Day this Wednesday (13 March).

The Council has also joined the Young Carers’ Alliance which seeks to improve the identification, assessment and support of young carers and young adult carers and ensure their voices are heard and acted upon.

The Alliance developed the covenant, setting out its goals for young carers and the practical steps needed to turn these into reality.

By signing the covenant the Council is committing to working with young carers to develop a plan which helps them progress into adulthood as smoothly as possible. This will include the offer of a mentor for young carers to explore their career options and other aspirations.

Cllr Dixon said: “Our young carers and young adult carers do an amazing job looking after a loved one or friend but we also recognise that this can lead to them feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities.

“I’m delighted to be the first local authority in the country to sign this covenant which unquestionably demonstrates our commitment to go above and beyond for our young carers. We want all our residents to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives so anything we can do to offer additional support to our young carers has to be a good thing.”

Councillor Ellison added: “We know that being a young carer brings with it all sorts of additional responsibilities and pressures. Being a young carer or young adult carer can have a negative impact on educational attainment, health and emotional wellbeing and the ability to make friends and have a social life.

“However, by signing this covenant we are pledging to do all we can to help our young carers overcome those barriers and enjoy the same opportunities as other young people. It’s about not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.”

Last year the Council in partnership with the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and young carers’ organisations launched a Young Carers’ ID Card to help young carers receive the recognition and support they need. The card provides formal recognition to around 1,200 young carers aged 25 and under in South Tyneside and allows people such as doctors, pharmacists and teachers to know about a young carer’s responsibilities and give them the confidence to ask for help and understanding from professionals.

Young Carers Action Day is an annual event organised by the Carers Trust to raise awareness of the pressures placed on so many young people.

To mark the day TENNE Young Carers Respite Service is taking some young carers for a well-earned weekend break and is holding a family event at South Shields Football Club. In addition, they will be holding drop-in sessions throughout the week at secondary schools to make young people aware of the support available. South Shields Town Hall will also be lit in purple and blue at the request of young carers.

To find out more about the support on offer for young carers, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/youngcarers