Guildford Young Carers addresses an area of society that is very much overlooked by us all. Estimates suggest that as many as 20% of children aged 5 to 18 in many areas of Guildford act as carers – unrecognised and hidden to society. The effect on these children is huge. Some fail to realise their academic potential, and they often suffer mental health issues, bullying and social media abuse.
These are young people who find their normal young lives being replaced by caring for a relative within the family unit. These responsibilities often cause negative outcomes, such as falling behind at school, or simply a loss of precious childhood time. These children and young people are often unable to access help and many do not even realise that they are acting as carers – it’s just what you do.
The Guildford Young Carers Fund was set up by Mike Parsons during his year as mayor in 2018/19 and is part of Guildford Philanthropy. The fund will award grants to support young carers in the borough of Guildford. Grants will support young carers by providing services or equipment that will help them with their educational, emotional and social needs.
Grants for things such as:
- additional non-statutory support in school or college
- extra tuition or educational support outside school or college
- IT or other equipment to support educational needs
- school trips, outings or residential activities
- music, sports or play activities or other clubs outside school (including membership fees)
- opportunities to meet other young carers
Grants are not available for duties that are the statutory responsibility of the local authorities.
Guildford Young Carers was set up by Councillor Mike Parsons with the Community Foundation for Surrey and the Guildford Philanthropy Fund to create a lasting resource specifically to support the opportunities and well-being of young carers within the borough of Guildford.