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Young Carers Day Action Day: 15 March

Caroline Allpass, Specialist Community Public Health Student School, tells us about visiting the team at Surrey Young Carers to further explore what their service offers and help collaborative partnership working.

I work as part of the School Nurse Team with Children and Family Health Surrey studying the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) School Nurse programme.

As part of my student role, I had the opportunity to attend a public health day with the team at Surrey Young Carers to further explore what their service offers and aid collaborative interagency working.

 Young carers meeting group
Photo (left to right): Jackie Sanders (Team Manager for Surrey Young Carers), Caroline Allpass (Student School Nurse, Children and Family Health Surrey) and Paul Southee (Young Carer Support Coordinator)

Being a young carer to a sibling or parent at home can put extra pressure and responsibilities on children and young people which can impact their home, school, and social life. I had an initial meeting with the teams’ support coordinator, who explained that Surrey Young Carers are able to provide a supportive package tailored to the need of each individual child or young person.

These range from fun activities that can provide respite from the caring role to more intensive group and tailored events package for young people in a more complex situation.

An additional service I had been previously unaware of prior to visiting was that the Young Carers team can apply for a travel card for anyone over the age of 14 to help them access their interests and social circle when they would otherwise be unable to do so. The team are also able to apply for funding for Children and Young People to access an activity of their choice which can contribute to building their self-esteem, confidence, and independence.

School nurses are well positioned to identify young carers early and with this knowledge will be able to better explain the service to young people and the benefits this crucial service offers, increasing uptake and allowing for quicker access to the Surrey Young Carers team for those that need.