To support Carers and their families, we have gathered information listing local services and national support available. For more information click on the links below.
NHS - click here for the latest NHS information and advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Important letter sent out to all Sutton Schools
to support them in supporting Young Carers,
further to the COVID19 outbreak.
Letter about Covid-19 (Coronavirus) – v19th March, 2020, 6:10 pm
In these unprecedented times, we wanted to ensure schools feel equipped to support their Young Carers now and after the closure of schools this Friday. The reality is that many Young Carers are already impacted by Covid-19 as many have family members that are self-isolating because of their vulnerabilities. I am sure you can appreciate that this significantly increases Young Carers anxiety as they worry about the person they care for catching Covid-19 and the implications of this on their health. Young Carers may also worry about what will happen if they get sick and can’t continue caring.
In this email, we have included some information and advice that we hope you will find useful when considering the needs of your Young Carers:
Do you know who your Young Carers are? If a child lives with a family member who has a mental or physical illness, disability or who misuses drugs or alcohol, then that student is very likely to pick up some level of emotional, practical, personal care and/or support. If you are not sure who your Young Carers are, now is the time to start having those conversations with staff and students.
Speak to your Young Carers to see how they and their families are currently managing mentally, physically, practically, financially etc. If their family member is self-isolating, it is very likely that their caring role has increased.
Have any students, not identified as Young Carers, suddenly started arriving late for school, appear distracted, unusually tired or you’ve seen a change in their behaviour? They may be a Young Carer with a family member self-isolating, so please speak with them to check.
Add Young Carers to your list of vulnerable students, this includes considering whether they need to be part of the cohort of vulnerable children coming into school.
Please be aware that safeguarding issues may arise if they start assuming inappropriate caring roles due to an overwhelmed health and social care system. Also this is likely to be a time when Young Carers feel increased levels of loneliness and isolation.
If the family caring needs increase, is there a plan for making sure that other friends and family can step in? Is there a plan for if the Young Carers gets ill or develops Covid-19?
If you haven’t already, appoint a Young Carers Lead to oversee this process specifically for Young Carers.
Provide all Young Carers with the details of support services that they can access during this time – encouraging them to call us at Sutton Carers Centre Young Carers Service for emotional as well practical reasons.
Please ensure they know that concerns about a family member’s care can still be discussed with the Local Authority on 020 8770 5000 (24 hours for safeguarding concerns or for ‘emergency covering care’) and health concerns via NHS 111 or 999 in an emergency.
Please call us if you would like to discuss or refer a Young Carer to us and continue to follow your usual safeguarding procedures should you be concerned for the safety and wellbeing of any Young Carers or their family members during this time.
Available Support at Sutton Carers Centre:
Regardless of the level of response to the pandemic, Sutton Carers Centre will remain open during our usual office hours to provide information, advice and support to you as professional colleagues as well as Young and Adult Carers and their families and friends.
From today and until further notice, we will maintain skeleton staff in the Centre office, with all remaining staff working from home to maintain telephone and internet-based service levels.
We have postponed all face-to-face, group and individual support sessions (unless exceptional and appropriately risk-assessed), but we can provide a skilled, consistent telephone support service that can help with concerns including financial impact, practical advice around contingency planning, and emotional support.
We are developing creative ways to bring Young Carers together virtually, to reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness that they experience every day in normal circumstances.
If a Young Carer or family member drops in to the Centre, there will be a member of staff available to assess and determine a response to their immediate needs.
We will be maintaining services to Parent Carers of children who are ill or disabled, as well as Carers of all ages who are supporting an Adult Child, Sibling, Spouse, Parent/Grandparent or other family member or friend.
We are working with Voluntary and Community Sector partners as well as our Public Sector colleagues to align resources and responses. This includes developing a system to safely harness and capitalise upon the swell in the number of kind community member volunteers who wish to help the most isolated and vulnerable people in our communities.
Please do not hesitate to contact us or direct your families to us. You can contact me directly through email or on the numbers below. Alternatively, many of you will have had direct contact with our Senior schools worker, Julia Kerr, so please do contact her directly by email or via her work mobile: 07860 847 989. If you would like to speak with one of our colleagues, please also call the main number, 020 8296 5611.
Please see links to websites that you might find helpful:
https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response (including advice for Carers)
Free resources for one month for staff and parents
Step 1: Go to www.twinkl.co.uk/offer
Step 2: Enter the code you have received, or CVDTWINKLHELPS if you have not yet been given a code
Step 3: Share the offer code and website link with anyone who could benefit
Thank you for all you have done so far to identify and support Young Carers, and to those of you who have contacted us for advice. We are very reassured that they remain one of your top priority groups of children and young people and confident that you are able to support their increasing needs during this very difficult time. We will continue to update you with any new guidance, developments or changes.
Please be assured that we will be having regular contact with Young Carers that we have identified as being in greater need or at risk during this time.
Lastly, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us.
Stay safe and healthy - I look forward to seeing you on the other side!
Melanie Walles| Young Carers Service Manager| Sutton Carers Centre (Carers Trust Network Partner)
Tel: 020 8296 5611 | Fax: 020 8296 5616
Sutton Carers Centre | Benhill House, 1st Floor | 12-14 Benhill Avenue | Sutton | Surrey | SM1 4DA
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Web: www.suttoncarerscentre.org | www.carers.org/sutton |@suttoncarers '
We hope that this information is useful to professionals and families alike.