As it is Young Carers Action Day, we are happy to be supporting Blackpool Young Carers at tonight’s Blackpool FC match. We caught up with Andy from Blackpool Young Carers who had this to say:
“We are really excited to be here at the match tonight on national Young Carers Action Day, a special occasion for young carers, not just in Blackpool but around the country. The day helps to celebrate and raise awareness of these amazing young people and their roles within their families.”
|What is a Young Carer?|
They are all around us, hidden in plain sight. Some of our young carers are as young as five years old and provide care for a loved one at home; their mum, dad, brother or sister, whether that be due to illness, disability, mental ill health or substance misuse. These challenges can hit young people at any time leaving choices limited and life upside down. Things such as a car accident, a stroke, cancer, mental health diagnosis, a sibling born with complex needs or life limiting illness. All of a sudden, life can become very different and these young people find themselves preparing medication, cooking, going to the shops or ‘just being there’, listening and spending time with someone.
When asked recently about how it feels to be a young carer they responded:
“It can be difficult seeing someone you love go through this. We have to grow up quickly and often take on a grown-up role within the house. It can be hard sometimes seeing friends go out and do fun things when we have to stay at home or sit in class worrying about who we care for, whilst our friends are worrying about how many likes their Instagram post got. Sometimes teachers don’t understand why we are late or haven’t done our homework and, to be honest, it’s easier to just take the detention than have to talk about what is going on at home.”
Andy continued by saying, “People’s reactions tend to be that of pity or ‘what a shame for them’ but what these children need is for us to show pride not pity, support not sadness and this is where Blackpool Carers Centre and Young Carers Action Day come in. Here, at Blackpool Carers we offer one to one support providing opportunities to talk and practical advice whilst also providing breaks from caring roles through respite opportunities such as youth clubs and trips which help tackle isolation that many young carers experience. Through the support of Carers Trust, we are proud to be working together with Blackpool FC on this year’s Young Carers Action Day, helping to raise awareness of young carers and the challenges they face.”
Blackpool FC Community Trust’s (BFCCT) Community Navigation Manager, Rachel, has been working with Blackpool Young Carers to organise the event with Blackpool Football Club this evening. In addition to making the event a success, they have also been working together to create pathways of referrals from one organisation to the other.
Rachel said, “There is a link between the Blackpool Carers Centre and Blackpool Football Club Community Trust. We are two organisations that strive to improve the quality of lives for people in Blackpool and are proud to offer the support that we do. There is clear synergy between both, in particular with our Premier League Kicks and NCS provision, and hopefully we can strengthen that bond going forward.”
|What is PL Kicks?|
Premier League Kicks is aimed at young people in the Blackpool area between the ages of 8-18. Blackpool FC Community Trust deliver at multiple areas across Blackpool, where we hold free sessions to young people. On top of delivering free football sessions, we also offer young people the opportunity to; attend competitions representing Blackpool FC, to volunteer on the programme, to take part in workshops and social action activities.
This year we aim to engage with over 1000 young people and by working alongside Blackpool Carers Centre, we are confident that we can achieve this. Our coaches offer a safe place to play and a welcoming environment which young people see as the highlight of their week and love to come back to.
|What is NCS?|
Blackpool FC Community Trust’s NCS team provide Young Carers with the opportunity to participate in their two weeks summer programme. This programme consists of one week residential where they will build and develop skills such as their self-confidence, teamwork and resilience, while taking part in a variety of outdoor adventure activities. The programme also consists of one week based locally, where they work as a team on a project that makes a positive change in their local community. The Young Carers will meet new people, learn new skills, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Additionally, we are currently engaging with Young Carers within the Blackpool area, through the NCS Skills booster provision. Skills Booster is delivered within several schools in Blackpool. This provision aims to support and guide young people through stresses and anxieties they may have while giving them the tools to manage their own mental health and wellbeing in both their academic and personal life. The skills booster provision will support students’ development in areas such as independent living, careers and progression, employability and citizenship/British values with the help and support of our staff.
|If you would like any more information, please call 01253 348 691 or you can also follow BFCCT on social media.|