March 2021 marks Young Carers Action Day (YCAD) – an annual event organised by the Carers Trust to raise awareness of young carers and the contribution they make to their families and local communities.
This year, YCAD focuses on young carers’ futures, and aims to highlight the incredible skills they have developed through being a carer, such as resilience, time-management and empathy.
What is a young carer?
The Children’s Society defines a young carer as someone under the age of 18 who looks after a family member or friend who has a physical or mental health condition, or misuses drugs or alcohol. However, the Carer’s Trust have identified that the difficulties faced by young carers are also regularly experienced by young adult carers, and have now included under 25’s in their campaign. In total, the BBC estimates that there are about 800,000 young carers in the UK.
Serious injury and young carers
When substandard care is provided by a medical professional, the resulting injuries can be life changing. When an injured party is suffering from severely limiting symptoms, such as a loss of vision, being unable to communicate or other severe neurological symptoms, they often become dependent upon those around them. In the case of young carers, the burden of support falls to young family members who are left with responsibilities, which they have no experience of handling, and would not have otherwise encountered at such a young age.
The life of a young carer
Being a young carer can be both rewarding and demanding. As the focus of this year’s YCAD suggests, providing care from a young age can help carers develop a valuable skillset that can be attractive to employers, provide a deep understanding and empathy for the needs of others, and help develop a closer relationship with those in need. However, the responsibility and dedication that comes with being a young carer is often incompatible with the life of a young person. It is estimated that young carers spend 69% of their time caring for others, miss an average of 48 days of school because of their role, and 68% have been bullied directly because of having to care for someone.
How to get involved
Carer’s Trust is a major charity based in the UK who works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of unpaid caring for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.
If you are a young carer, if you’d like to share some content about being a young carer and your plans for the future, Carer’s Trust want to share and showcase your story in the run up to Young Carers Action Day on March 16.
For further information, please visit www.carers.org
How Burnetts can help
If you, or somebody you know, has suffered a serious injury due to negligent medical treatment, you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation. As part of that compensation, you may be able to make a claim to assist with payments for care and assistance, aids & equipment, therapy and accommodation; all of which will assist young carers with the unique challenges they face.
Burnetts have specialist brain injury and medical negligence solicitors, who are accredited by the AvMA and Law Society panels, who can investigate your claim and help secure compensation.
If you would like to speak to someone within our team to discuss whether you may have a clinical negligence claim then please contact our offices on 01228 552222.