Young Carers are extraordinary
In West Sussex, an estimated 6000 people under the age of 18 are caregivers, some as young as four years old. Young Carers take on huge responsibilities, looking after loved ones when they themselves are just children and teenagers.
When COVID-19 hit, we launched our fundraising appeal Young Carers Connect and in just three months we raised an incredible £91,000.
Working in partnership with schools and West Sussex Young Carers Service, we used this money to provide laptops and internet access for young people across the county.
Now more than ever we have realised the importance of staying connected. Many of our children do not have access to a device of their own. We cannot thank Chichester Festival Theatre and all of their kind donors enough for this amazing offer. 12 of our families will be able to access online learning at home. They will be able to complete all of their homework. Being part of the Young Carers Connect project will also enable them to take part in virtual creative activities with CFT. Most of all they will connect with other young like-minded people. What an amazing project.
Andrew Strong, Headteacher of Portfield Primary Academy, Chichester
Young Carers Connect has allowed us to:
- Provide 300 young carers with IT equipment and resources, training and ongoing support, helping them become digitally literate and safe
- Deliver a vibrant programme of online activities allowing young carers to express their creativity
- Bring young carers together to build friendships in a safe environment
- Signpost young carers in crisis to the support they need
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who responded so generously to this appeal. 300 young carers in West Sussex now have the resources, skills and support they need to become significantly more independent, resilient and inspired. We have now begun to distribute laptops – which have been specially configured thanks to local IT support specialist Protozoon – to the young carers, who been nominated by their schools and the Young Carers Service. We will be monitoring this pilot project over the next year with a view to extending it in the future
Dale Rooks, Director of Learning, Education and Participation at Chichester Festival Theatre
Young Carers Connect is supported by The G D Charitable Trust and the Noël Coward Foundation.