Young carers are less happy, more worried, and more confused than their peers, according to research from the Carers Trust.
The charity compared the feelings of 200 unpaid carers aged eight-15 with a YouGov poll of 457 non-carers of the same age. Money, bullying, exams, the future and their families were all areas young carers felt worried about.
Only 41% of eight-15 year old carers reported feeling cheerful in the last month, compared to 61% of non-carers. But despite 48% of young carers saying they felt stressed, just over half reported they were proud of being young carers.
Online social community
Moira Fraser, interim chief executive of the Carers Trust, said the survey brings home the scale of the impact that caring responsibilities can have on a young carer’s mental wellbeing.
Not having enough people to talk to was reported as a concern by a quarter of young carers. In response, the Carers Trust has launched ‘Babble’, an online social community for young carers up to the age of 18 funded by The Queen’s Trust.
Fraser said the findings show “just how much Babble is needed to combat the risk of isolation and to make sure these young people are as happy and supported as they can be”.
Young people will be able to access support and friendship with each other, and will have access to help and advice, email and chat sessions with a support team made up of professionally qualified social workers, youth and community workers.