Wow three months gone already and it still seems like Christmas to us!! This is our first report back on the pledges we made in January with regards to our Service and it has been a very busy and hectic time. We lost two workers either side of Christmas and had to go through all the trials and tribulations of the recruitment process. We managed it though and are pleased to announce two new workers joining the team.......they’ll get their own article pretty soon, and we are really excited for them to be joining our team.
On a general level we said we would report on one of the pledges every month, this we have failed to do because of other pressures but we have managed to publish a thought for the month from young carers each month and rather than have one call out day for young carers each month we have just gone for it, calling out all the time if needed and re-tweeting the call outs from other carers organisations-our new pledge is just go for it, do not be silenced.
Pledge 1; Increase the numbers of indentified young carers and young adult carers in Salford; In the 3 months we carried out 46 assessments of potential young carers and registered 26 new young people with the Service, others were recognised and receive support via school and community provision. We also registered another 5 young adult carers aged 18-24. In pursuing this pledge we carried out 42 awareness sessions for pupils in schools/colleges and 21 sessions for professionals
Pledge 2; to improve the involvement of young carers and young adult carers in the development of their Service; Since January we have been working with a group of 15 young people to develop a “Board” of young people, who are carers, to help us drive the Services forward. They have taken over from our well established, and very successful, Young Carers Forum and is more representative of the young people we work with as the youngest is 10 and the oldest is 22. They have met as a group 4 times and spent a great week end together at the Peace Centre in Warrington setting their agendas-and looking at the outcomes from last night’s meeting its going to get very busy over the next 12 months for us all.
We also pledged to;
* support the physical and emotional wellbeing of carers and their families via targeted groups and supported access to appropriate services.
* campaign for the equality of access to education, employment and all levels of appropriate support for the young people and their families we work with.
* campaigns to raise awareness with politicians, policy makers, education providers and the business community about the issues surrounding young carers and young adult carers and their needs.
These pledges are not as easy to report on except to say that all 3 pledges are fundamental to the way we work. We run very targeted groups around health and wellbeing, working with partners in other organizations such as 42nd Street, we run an assess to Fit Cities Scheme giving free access to physical activities for young carers and we work with a number of partners making sure young carers have access to all aspects of community / employment / educational support. On top of that we also managed to run 35 groups supporting carers from the age of 6 to 22, carry out 210 individual sessions, and hold 42 school surgeries
We are presently working with 13 High Schools and 30 Primary Schools trying to ensure the appropriate support is in place for known carers and the right levels of awareness within staff teams to improve the identification of young carers. We are working very closely with the City Council on not only The Young Carers Action Plan & Carers Strategies, but also on the wider Emotional Health & Wellbeing of Young People Strategies and strategies around bullying, both physical and in cyber space.
A very busy quarter that has seen a small but dedicated staff team maintaining both the quantity and quality of our work through a very difficult staffing period.
Next report in three months in the meantime any comments are welcome