First ever Young Carers Awareness Day is celebrated

15 Apr 2011

First ever Young Carers Awareness Day is celebrated

Today, Friday 15th of April the first ever Young Carers Awareness Day will be held in Coláiste Eoin, Finglas. The aim of the day is to create a greater understanding of the issues facing young carers today and the important role they play within their families and the service they provide to the wider community.

It’s estimated that 28,000 young people and children are supporting family members in Ireland every day. This often unseen and unsupported caring can range from dressing and feeding disabled parents/grandparents to shopping and cooking for younger brothers and sisters to quietly caring for sick relatives, all carried out while the young person copes with their own educational and social needs.

The Young Carers Awareness Day is a joint project between the Crosscare Carer Support Programme, CDVEC and Coláiste Eoin, and is being funded by Dublin Bus Community Support Programme grant. For the last year the groups have worked together to respond to the needs of young carers in Coláiste Eoin, Finglas.

The Awareness day hopes to make teachers and friends of young carers more informed of the work being done by them and to learn how to better support young carers in their day to day lives.

The day consists of a series of workshops which run from 9am-1pm, facilitated by Tony Mc Gurk Children’s Services manager Barnados Young Carers Services, Northern Ireland. These workshops will be attended by pupils of all classes ranging from 12-18 years, during which a dvd will be shown outlining stories of young carers. Following this students will be invited to participate in a group discussion. The day will conclude on a fun note with a routine by two local comedians.

Rosemary Daynes, Crosscare project worker with the Crosscare Support Programme commented,

“The Young Carers Awareness day is the first of its kind in Ireland and is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the tremendous work carried out by young carers. It is estimated that there are 28,000 young carers in Ireland and for the most part the important role played by these young adults goes largely unnoticed.”

“The day is part of an overall project we are developing within Coláiste Eoin which we hope will be rolled out in schools across the region in the near future. We also hope that students who may be young carers and who are unknown to the school care team will now be encouraged to come forward to ensure they receive the support necessary to continue with their education.”

Crosscare is encouraging any young carers who may not have access to established support services to contact them for advice and information on 01 836 0011.