Emma recently submitted an article to the Shields Gazette after she visited the South Tyneside Young Carers project at the Ridgeway Centre in South Shields. Over 240,00 children and young people in the UK act as carers for a loved one – more than 600 of them in South Tyneside – and this number is on the rise.
The week beginning Monday 9 June is Carers Week, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of carers issues and encouraging people in communities across the country to reach out to carers. Emma’s article will appear in the Gazette next week to encourage people in South Shields to take part.
You can read Emma’s article below:
“Recently I visited the Ridgeway centre in South Shields to meet with some of the amazing children who attend South Tyneside Young Carers Project. The Project supports 600 children enabling them to balance their caring responsibilities whilst enjoying their childhood.
“Caring for a loved one is a difficult enough job for an adult, but is even tougher for the quarter of a million children in Britain with caring responsibilities. As well as the physical and emotional strain of looking after a family member at such a young age, the time spent caring can lead to these children falling behind in school, missing lessons entirely, not being able to form friendships with their peers and for some being bullied because they stand out.
“But these children stand out because they are exceptional, they go above and beyond for the people they love, this is something that is to be praised, not to be bullied for, the selfless young people I had the pleasure of meeting are extremely hard-working, with a range of skills beyond that of many of their peers.
“The Project exists because the challenges young carers face are not challenges we expect them to face them alone. I’m pleased that, with Labour support, the Children and Families Bill and the Care Bill have improved young carers’ rights.
“But cuts to the overall care budget mean that some are losing out on financial support, or that the people they care for may no longer qualify for help. This makes an already difficult situation that much harder, and I want to keep fighting for young carers’ rights so that the young people I met can continue to get the support they deserve.”