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Young carers are children and young people who help to look after someone in their family or friends who is disabled, physically or mentally ill or has a substance misuse problem.

Young carers fall into three age groups, each with distinct characteristics and needs. These groups are:

  • under 6 years old
  • 6 to 14 years old
  • 14 to 17 years old

Young adult carers are aged between 18 to 24, and often require support around education and employment.

Help for young carers

Carers in Bedfordshire provide a service for young carers:

  • 121 support for young carers including a minimum of 6 sessions
  • Activity clubs
  • Peer mentor project
  • Young Carers Newsletter
  • Training workshops
  • Awareness raising events and activities
  • Support carers voice in strategy and decision making
  • Carers Café

You can download their brochure 'If you are under 18 and helping to care for someone' (PDF).

Young carers give different types of care

There are three main types of care which a young carer may be supporting someone with. These are:

Physical

  • personal care
  • household jobs
  • meals
  • errands

Emotional

  • listening
  • being there for them
  • talking with them
  • helping them to feel better

Taking responsibility

  • keeping the person feeling safe
  • administering medicines
  • keeping appointments
  • getting help if needed