Young carers are extraordinary. In West Sussex, an estimated 6,000 people under the age of 18 are caregivers, including some children as young as four years old. Young carers take on substantial responsibilities, providing vital care and support to their loved ones when they are themselves just children and teenagers.
44% of young carers use online platforms to access help and support, and to keep connected with others. Due to Covid-19 and the closures to schools, support centres and libraries, many young carers have been unable to access the help and support they rely on, simply because they do not own, or are unable to afford a computer or internet access; the majority of young carers live in low-income households. Even as schools reopen, many will remain confined to their homes as they continue to care for vulnerable family members.
In partnership with West Sussex Young Carers Services, local schools and family support workers, Chichester Festival Theatre aims to address this serious issue by delivering a one-year pilot project, aiming to reconnect young carers in West Sussex with vital support services, their education, fellow young carers, the arts, and a world beyond their life as a young carer.
Young Carers Connect will:
- Provide 300 young carers with suitable technology equipment and resources, training and ongoing support to help them become digitally literate and safe
- Deliver a vibrant programme of online arts activities to educate, entertain and inspire – allowing young carers to express their creativity and experience moments of joy
- Enable young carers to connect with each other and build friendships in a safe environment
- Signpost young carers in crisis to the support they need
Young Carers Connect is supported by The G D Charitable Trust and the Noël Coward Foundation.
How you can support young carers?
It will cost £91,000 to deliver this project – that is just £303.33 for one young carer to receive the provision, skills and support they need to become significantly more independent, resilient and inspired. Donations of any size really will make a lasting difference. Thank you.