Young Carers Action Day 2021
This is a time to consider how we can support Young Carers, not only in their education, but also in their future aspirations.
Today (16th March) is Young Carers Action Day, a day in which we, as Sutton’s Young Carers Service, and Sutton’s communities, take the opportunity to once again highlight the contributions that Young Carers make to their families and communities – as well as the challenges that Children & Young People with caring roles face in their daily lives. It’s an opportunity for Young Carers to say what it is that they want local professionals and colleagues to hear and understand, and to have a wider platform for sharing key messages that are important to them.
Young Carers Action Day was previously called Young Carers Awareness Day. What we have seen, however, this year particularly, is that Young Carers want to be at the heart of any change taking place locally or nationally. Now more than ever, activism and taking individual responsibility for positive social change is key!
Young Carers Action Day 2021 is all about Young Carers’ futures. The theme is: Protect Young Carers' Futures. We want to recognise and highlight the incredible skills Young Carers have developed through being a Carer such as resilience, time-management and empathy. It is also a time to consider how we can support them, not only in their education, but also in their future aspirations. It is also great news that YCAD now includes Young Adult Carers aged 18-25.
Our actions at Sutton Carers Centre:
This year is all about supporting Young Carers to make their voices heard, on a local and national level, but also at Sutton Carers Centre with our #YourVoiceYourFuture campaign. We want their thoughts and ideas to shape their Young Carers Service.
During the week, we will be running "Protect Our Futures" special sessions in all of our online groups: Chill & Learn, Sibling Support and Peer Support. During the sessions, we will pass the ‘mic’ to our Young Carers and invite them to share their skills and aspirations as well as identifying how we can support them to achieve these.
We are also reigniting our Young Carers Ambassadors programme. Our Ambassadors are a group of Young Carers who campaign for change - to speak to those in power, like MPs and Councillors, but also to represent their peers within the Centre and to ensure their voices are at the forefront of everything we do. The face of this re-launch will be Finley Taheny, a Young Carer who recently won the ‘Outstanding Young Person’ award at the Sutton Community Awards for his campaigning to make sure that no Young Carer was alone.
We also are proud to have launched ‘Lilly’s Song’, a composition by Young Carer Lilly Smith, on our YouTube channel today. During lockdown, Lilly wrote a song, and then came forward to perform it live online to her peers. The powerful lyrics resonated heavily with the other Young Carers. To support even more Young Carers, and to help them realise that they are not alone, Lilly has decided to share her song more widely. Please click here to watch.
Don’t forget to pledge your support for Young Carers Action Day and share it with us! You can make written pledges and take photos and share these on Twitter and Facebook today. Please post directly onto Twitter or Facebook using the hashtags #YourVoiceYourFuture, #YoungCarersActionDay and #SuttonCarers. Please tag @CarersTrust and not forgetting @SuttonCarers on Twitter, or @SuttonCarersCentre on Facebook.
We are the lead on Young Carers Action Day 2021, but have worked in partnership with the London Borough of Sutton. The press release can be found here.
Finley and Lilly's stories have been highlighted in an article for the Sutton & Croydon Guardian. Discover more about the actions they have taken to ensure no other Young Carer feels alone here.