Heroes at home
Heroes at Home is a new campaign aimed at Norfolk’s young carers. Led by Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership and supported by carers organisations Carers Matter Norfolk and Caring Together, the campaign recognises the vital role young carers play in supporting their loved ones and highlights the range of support available to help them.
It’s estimated that over 11,000 children and young people in Norfolk are carers, helping to look after or support a family member or friend who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.
Being a young carer is an extremely challenging role in the best of times and during the current Covid-19 crisis, things may be particularly tough for many young carers. They may have to provide extra support to a family member and opportunities to get a break from their responsibilities, such as mixing with friends at school or in social groups, is currently not possible in the same way as it was before.
A Caring Together survey found that 79% of young carers are feeling isolated and nearly one in two young carers say they feel unable to cope.
Heroes at Home signposts young carers to the range of support that’s available via the Carers Matter Norfolk website and advice line.
A range of practical and virtual support is also available through partner organisations across the county. Caring Together provides an opportunity for young carers to have their voices heard and to help improve support for young carers through their Norfolk Young Carers Forum project.
Click for support and advice or a live chat online or call the Carers Matter Norfolk Advice Line on 0800 083 1148.
Molly is 17 and cares for several members of her family who are shielding during Covid-19, including some who do not live with her so she has to balance her time between her own house and other family members.
Molly cares for her dad, uncle and grandad who all have physical health issues and also her brother. Her day starts early and her many caring tasks include helping her mum to dress her dad, making food, assisting with mobility and giving emotional support. Molly also has to balance her caring responsibilities with her college work, to ensure she keeps up.
Since the Covid-19 crisis began, Molly has become increasingly anxious, worrying about the risk to her family if she should catch the virus. Her caring tasks have increased because her family members are shielding, and she feels very tired.
As a member of Norfolk Young Carers Forum, Molly is supported by Caring Together. She receives regular telephone calls to check how she is getting on and takes part in online groups to keep in touch with other young carers in her area. As she now has to self-isolate, she is linked to Carers Matter Norfolk to help her access practical support including shopping.