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Young carers: the progress and a goodbye.

Note: The following blog post has been contributed by Danni Manzi, who has been our Policy and Development Manager, Young Carers. She will soon be leaving us but her contribution to Carers Trust has been invaluable and she will be deeply missed.

So The Princess Royal Trust for Carers has finally merged with Crossroads Care and we’re now Carers Trust. It’s the time Young carer helping his brotherof new beginnings, of opportunity and prospects. Sometimes in this game, I feel like I chase my tail and never get anywhere, so I thought I’d take this chance to reflect on what’s changed for young carers in the last six years since I‘ve been here.

I started work in the sector 10 years ago when I managed a young carers’ service in the London Borough of Barnet. Not only was I responsible for developing the service, and for getting change implemented at strategic level within the borough, but I pitched in whenever needed and have fond memories of driving a minibus around Finchley, Edgware and Barnet ensuring that some of the most needy young carers got a break and met other young carers at one of our after school clubs. We had great support in the borough, but I think it’s true to say that the public perception of young carers and the issues they face was lacking.

Raising awareness of young carers and their families is an intrinsic part of ensuring they get the support and help they need. This has been one of the defining changes I’ve witnessed and it’s thanks to Carers Trust and other national charities, often working together, that this has happened.  I’m not sure where we would be without our six year partnership with Comic Relief. They’ve given us- and the young carers we support- the platform we needed during events such as Red Nose Day and Sports Relief, forcing people to sit up and take notice of an issue which in modern society is sometimes hard to believe. And it’s not just media coverage they’ve helped with- to date, they’ve given us £3.5million, with another £1.5million to be launched this year- helping us to help some of the most needy young carers and families. A heartfelt thank you on my behalf.

If services only ever help the young carer or the person they care for, and don’t address the whole family’s needs, the situation will remain unchanged and young carers will continue to provide care.  So it’s great to see the whole family approach now recognised by most practitioners as the most effective and sustainable approach to use and even better to see it promoted at central and local government level and endorsed in national policy.

Six years ago, there was not necessarily a young carers’ service in every local area. The ones that did exist sometimes felt like they were working in isolation and there was some duplication of resources and reinventing the wheel. Today, despite many funding cuts, young carers’ services remain resilient and committed and Carers Trust now has 112 young carers’ services across the UK. We have a wide range of national resources to help local services, such as our schools resource and outcomes measuring tool, and our work continues.

It is thanks to colleagues across Carers Trust and beyond, to inspiring and innovative young carers’ workers up and down the country and across our nations, to social care, health and education practitioners, and even to members of the public, that we have achieved so much.  But as always, there is still so much to do.

Take care,

Danni

A note from Moira:

After an amazing 6 years, Danni’s heading off to exciting new challenges at the MS Society. All of us at Carers Trust would like to say a massive thank you to her for her work for young carers – it’s made a real difference and we’ve been proud to have her as our colleague.

Thanks Danni – and good luck from us all!

 

April 10, 2012 - Posted by | Young carers | , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Dear Danni,
    I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge heartfelt THANK YOU for all the work you have done for Young Carers over the past few years. As a Mother of 2 Young Carers I am so grateful to you for all the awareness work you’ve done and the fantastic schools resource pack that the Princess Royal Trust / Children’s Society created.

    We are about to launch the Second Edition of Caitlin’s Wish (for Young Carers) which is being promoted as a resource for schools to use in conjunction with your Schools Resource pack, to enable children to understand what being a young carer is really like.

    Our overall aim is to raise awareness and highlight the role that Young Carers play within society. We feel that if there was more awareness of Young Carers issues within society then this would lead to greater empathy, compassion, tolerance and understanding from those not personally affected by illness or disability in any way.
    We hope to see a day where ALL schools not only know about the Schools resource pack, but use it within their schools to support Young Carers which will mean that Young Carers have the very best chance of receiving the support they need to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their lives.

    THANK YOU SO SO MUCH Danni for all you’ve done, Wishing you the very best of luck for the future.

    Kind regards
    Victoria.

    Author of Caitlin’s Wish
    Awareness Campaigner and Carer.

    Comment by caitlinswish | April 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Correction – that should have read ‘Princess Royal Trust for Carers / Children’s Society’s Schools Resource pack’ – sorry!

      Comment by caitlinswish | April 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Victoria- thank you. Good luck with your book- I hope it continues to go from strength to strnegth.
      Danni

      Comment by dannimanzi | April 11, 2012 | Reply

      • Thanks so much Danni.
        Good luck for the future!

        Comment by caitlinswish | April 11, 2012

  2. Hello Danni!

    Just like to say a massive thank you, as I really noticed things change over the last 6-10 years. Your support and lobbying has been invaluable from being involved in a project through to supporting young Carers in Warwickshire and Coventry. Good luck where ever the future is taking you. It would be good to stay in touch.

    Ed 🙂

    Comment by edmossya | April 11, 2012 | Reply

  3. Hello Danni!

    Just wanted to say thank you and a big well done. You have done a great job in moving things forward for Young Carers. From being involved in a project to supporting Young Carers in Warwickshire and Coventry your name has been synonymous with lobbying for Young Carers rights, and trying to bring the sector closer together to increase effectiveness of very limited resources. I’d like to wish you all the best for your future and it would be great to keep in touh and keep up with what you are doing! No doubt it will be interesting and exciting.

    Ed

    Ed@youngadvisors.org.uk

    Comment by edmossya | April 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comments Ed- it means a lot. I start at the MS Society next week but in the meantime, feel free to catch me on Twitter.
      Danni

      Comment by dannimanzi | April 11, 2012 | Reply

  4. This sounds like a wonderful programme. I think that young people’s efforts are not recognised, acknowledged and supported enough. I imagine that with the current budget cuts it becomes even more important.

    Comment by Maddy | April 17, 2012 | Reply


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