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In 2001 there were an estimated 175,000 young carers in the UK, with around a third caring for a person with a mental illness. It is likely the actual number is higher and research has suggested that around a third of young carers are involved in inappropriate and excessive caring with consequent knock-on effects on schooling and other key areas of their lives.

Devon Carers has a specialist team who work with young carers, addressing the needs of young people providing care and support to other family members, primarily a parent or a sibling. Young carers are put in a position of great responsibility at a very young age; dealing with situations that many adults would find a challenge. These children and young people have to cope in difficult circumstances, often not only looking after their relative but also helping to bring up siblings and run a household.

Devon Carers provides a consistent approach to the way in which young carers are supported across Devon. The types of services young carers currently benefit from include:

  • Respite activities, including residential weekends 
  • Drop-ins/ Clubs 
  • School clubs 
  • Family support 
  • Advocacy
  • Information and signposting 
  • Counselling 
  • Transport to and from activities 

To find out what is on offer for young carers, aged 5 to 18 years, in your area or to make a referral please contact Devon Carers on 08456 434 435