Hidden Young Carers - how GP surgeries can help

Recently, we've been asking our young adult carers about GP surgeries. Have they told their surgeries that they're caring? Do they get support? What more could the GP surgery be doing to support them in their caring role and outside of it?

We know that Young Carers and Young Adult Carers often don't even identify themselves as carers, YAC Alana says it's because 'caring is just something I've always done, so it just feels like something you do without a name.' Other YC's and YAC's worry that they'll get their family in trouble for coming forward as a carer or be removed from their home, and this stops them from coming forward. Bailey, a Young Adult Carer from Wiltshire said the reason they didn't come forward was because ' I was scared they wouldn't consider me a 'real' carer'. But GP surgeries can be a great link and support system for YC's and YAC's. When a GP surgery identifies a YC or YAC and refers them to us, we can put in place a tailored support plan, provide advice, give information on funding, education and more and provide a much needed break for those young people.

Our Young Adult Carers Cafe currently runs once a month and is a huge success. Not only can young adult carers come to chat to others, make friends and have a much needed break having a slice of cake and taking part in the quiz, but they can also see a support worker and get any information they might need. Making it easier for Young Adult Carers and Young Carers to come forward and identify themselves to their GP surgeries and beyond is incredibly important, so we have to break down the barriers that are still in place for many young people. If you are a Young Adult Carer or a Young Carer who hasn't notified their GP surgery that you are caring, consider telling them! It could open up a whole range of support. And for GP surgeries and professionals, we are continuing to expand our marketing so GP surgeries around Wiltshire can raise awareness of young adult carers, and hopefully increase those coming forward and identifying themselves. Read our mythbusting page here to ease any worries you might have coming forward as a young adult carer. Young carer? Click here to see our young carer site. Find downloadable marketing materials for GP Surgeries, schools, colleges and more here. (Most are applicable to Wiltshire only, however YACbook materials can be used anywhere as YACbook.co.uk is open and free for anyone to use across the UK and beyond).

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