Monthly Archives: December 2012

Young carers: The added responsibility that Christmas brings

By Peter Coulter BBC News, Belfast

Christmas for young carers would be a very different experience to that of other children.

Young carers Young carers get together in east Belfast for a flower arranging class.

Tidying the house, putting up decorations, cooking the turkey and washing up all those dishes, just some of the jobs they’ve had to do over the last few days.

These chores are normally seen as the parent’s job in many houses but for 8000 young carers across Northern Ireland, Christmas brings extra responsibility to support their families.

We met a group of young carers in east Belfast who are attending a flower arranging class, part of an initiative organised by local charity Crossroads.

The charity is running the workshops to not only give the young carers a bit of respite time but also teach them some vital skills.

In Northern Ireland approximately 8.5% of children act as a carer for another member of their family who may be ill or disabled, in many cases this can be a terminal or degenerative illness.
‘Difficult experience’

The Crossroads Young Carers project aims to provide them with support, social activities, practical help and respite.
Saffron and Jayashree Saffron Wallace and Jayashree Sugumaran enjoy coming to the young carers club.

For All I Care with Carers Gloucestershire chief executive Tim Poole

WELL, that’s Christmas then

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gloucestershire Echo


WELL, that’s Christmas then. Everyone happy? I hope so and that there’s not too great a sense of anti-climax.

I have a colleague who claims that, very early into his childhood Christmas Day, his father always intoned, somewhat lugubriously: “Well, it’s as far away now as it ever was.”

Apparently, it was the ultimate remedy for Christmas cheer.

Then there’s New Year, which I suppose is all about change – not everyone’s strong suit. Mind you, these days there’s not so much remembering-the-correct-year-on-cheques any more.

Campaigners throughout the UK are making use of technology to show their support for carers this Christmas.

Guest Blog by Sawsan Bastawy

The 2011 Census data released earlier this week has shown disappointing progress for carers. Since 2001, the number of carers in the UK has risen by just over 600,000 people and it is predicted that three out of five people will be carers at some point in their lives. Notably, the number of carers over the age of 65 is rising quicker than for any other age group.
Among the results were the findings that young carers and BAME (British Asian and Ethnic Minority) carers are being neglected by government support systems, namely the NHS; being offered support at a rate less than for older white carers, as well as a lower quality of support.
With the advent of the festive season, however, comes a wealth of support from NGO’s, charities, and individuals taking advantage of the festive spirit and bringing in support for carers across the UK. It is the use of simple technology, however, that is taking the lead in the campaign to improve conditions for carers.