ITV Fixers: Swindon Young Carers

ITV Fixers is a project that provides creative tools for young people to communicate an idea to an audience, and often documents what they are doing on local regional news bulletins thanks to a relationship with news teams in the Meridian, West and Westcountry ITV regions.

Funded by the volunteering charity V, which encourages volunteering for young people aged 16 to 25, the project is actually run by the charity the Public Service Broadcasting Trust.

Staff from ITV Fixers typically work on a project alongside young volunteers for an average of four months, building websites, making videos and engaging other young people. How the individual projects work is guided by the young people themselves, and the fixers just provide the skills to make their ideas happen. The young volunteers then have to be able to evidence that they have done something with their end product.

“The project’s about giving them a public profile,” says trust chief executive Margo Horsley. “They can’t just make a music video; they have to show it to an audience and see if it’s changed people’s minds about something.”

Young Carers’ Pack

Swindon Young Carers group supports carers aged 12 to 18, but members were worried that there were other people in a similar situation in the area who didn’t even know they were young carers.

Amy Stacey, a 17-year-old who cares for her mother, who suffers from fibrolyalgia and MS, is part of the group who worked on developing a resource pack for schools to help identify young carers. “We came up with the idea because we were discussing how hard it was to find out that we were young carers when we thought what we were doing was normal,” says Amy. “Our plan was to bring awareness to others.”

The group has met with ITV Fixers to discuss the contents of the pack, which will contain stories and contact information. One of the meetings was also screened on ITV Westcountry Tonight in April.

Stacey hopes that 1000 packs will be made by the end of May, and can be circulated around local schools. “We want to give it to teachers to show in assemblies, and then people who think their friends might be young carers can read the packs to see how to help them,” she says.



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