WHILE the majority of young people don’t have to think twice about accepting an invitation to a friend’s party and their biggest worry is their homework, for some, life is a lot more complicated.
Across the country, some youngsters have had to grow up faster that other children and teenagers their age after taking on the caring role of a family member.
Some carry out tasks and take on a level of responsibility which would normally be associated with an adult, dealing with issues including illness, disability, mental health problems and addiction.
But with the help of the Warrington Guardian’s charity of the month WIRED Young Carers Service, they have a support system in place to help them cope with the added strain of looking after a loved one.
Young carers coordinator Kat Lamey said: “Being a young carer can be both a positive and negative experience. However, at times it may have a detrimental impact on a young person’s life.
“Having the responsibility of a caring role means that some young carers miss out on certain opportunities.
“The team at WIRED aims to support young carers to address their own difficulties and allow them to access the same opportunities as their peers.
WIRED was set up in April 2003 in Wirral before opening in Warrington in December 2011.
The team is currently supporting 182 young carers in the town by offering a range of services from one-to-one emotional support to activities including arts and crafts, cookery, music and sports.
Juggling your school and social life with your caring role can be a challenge, but Kat and the team at WIRED, which is funded by Warrington Borough Council, are worried that many young people are not even aware that they are a young carer.
Kat added: “One of the biggest issues we experience is identifying hidden young carers.
“To do this we need support from everyone to help us spot young carers early on and get them the support they require.”
For more information call 633492 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.