Young Carers Development Trust

Young Carers Development Trust

Brief Description of Organisation

YCDT supports young carers who are providing a ‘significant level of care’ for a disabled or seriously ill family member by offering 4 years of support starting prior to GCSEs through to the first year of university or equivalent.

Full Description of Organisation

About Us

The Young Carers Development Trust (YCDT) aims to inspire young carers in the South-West and beyond to improve their futures by offering them sustained and targeted support over a period of four years so they can pursue their career ambitions through education, training and readiness for employment.

 

Research published by the Carers Trust shows that over 73% of young carers take time off school, equating to an average of 10 weeks a year. Our strategy is to assist and support young carers who are providing a “significant level of care” for a disabled or seriously ill family member, resulting in much poorer outcomes for their own health and future expectations. We do this by providing support that will develop the young carers skills and capabilities which will enable them to have the same opportunities in life as their non caring peers. We want young carers to recognise the unique transferable skills they have gained through being a young carer and to use this to pursue their education and career ambitions.

 

Our Work

The Young Carers Development Trust plans to increase the number of young carers taken on year by year, with 12 new young carers in 2022. Our approach is to work with the local commissioned carer support services to identify and refer talented young carers who would be unlikely to succeed without targeted support from YCDT.

 

Young carers start with us as they enter Year 11, prior to GCSEs, through to the end of the first year of post formal education. Each young carer is matched to a volunteer mentor who offers sustained support, encouragement and advice for the whole 4 years. Alongside this our provision can include books, tuition, equipment (such as laptops), visits to universities and work experience. The first year of university, or college, is especially difficult for young carers and the build-up, such as setting up alternative care, can be utterly overwhelming. To date, we have supported 34 young carers in the South West.

 

Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I know I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for YCDT.

Sammy cares for his visually impaired mother. With YCDT’s support Sammy is now studying Business Management at UWE.

 

One of the key principles of our work is that our young carers are then supported to become leaders and role models for those in similar circumstances. As they progress, we facilitate opportunities for these young carers to tell their stories as an inspiration not only to other young carers, but also to local youth groups and schools thus extending knowledge and understanding within the wider community.

 

Our project is entirely unique. It was developed following the incredibly low statistics of young carers accessing further education. Our understanding, on the basis of extensive research, is that there is no other charity attempting to replace the lost education and therefore the future of young carers.

 

The Young Carers

A young carers childhood will be very different to their peers, the parent and child roles are often reversed: the child plans and cooks the meals; gets the parent up; washes them; gets the siblings to school (including feeding them, dressing them, making packed lunches); provides medication (including injections) and keeps the house clean. YCDTs young carers often come from extremely challenging backgrounds and in addition to their caring roles have to cope with parental substance misuse, domestic abuse and extreme poverty.

 

Many young carers miss out on basic education because of their caring roles (for example numerous trips to hospital during the school day). Young adult carers are 4 times more likely to drop out of university and on average obtain 9 grades lower overall.

 

As a direct result of YCDT support, 80% of our young carers have attended or are attending university. The career paths of the remaining 20% includes starting their own successful businesses and taking alternative routes such as a carpentry apprenticeship. Given the challenges these young people face, combining their time-consuming caring roles with time and dedication required to study, these results are amazing. 100% of our young carers are in EET (Education, Employment or Training).

 

I am incredibly grateful for all that the YCDT have done for me. I would not have achieved all that I have without their support.”

Alise, a young carer for her mother since age 11, is studying at Oxford University

Young Carers Development Trust

Brief Description of Organisation

YCDT supports young carers who are providing a ‘significant level of care’ for a disabled or seriously ill family member by offering 4 years of support starting prior to GCSEs through to the first year of university or equivalent.

Young Carers Development Trust