We are extremely proud to have such admirable young people who have high expectations in school, whilst caring for a parent or relative at home. It is challenging to balance personal and family responsibility with that of their studies and that is why we put everything possible in place to ensure our young carers gain the education and qualifications they need to be successful in the future.
Our work with Suffolk Family Carers has been identified as demonstrating exemplary practice, and has been recognised through the Suffolk Young Carers in school scheme. In January 2020 Ormiston Denes Academy was presented with the Platinum Award for supporting our young carers in school. We are very proud of our achievement, having already previously received the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.
We work closely with Suffolk Family Carers in relation to their support for young carers in Suffolk, and in particular those within our academy. We have raised school awareness of young carers through assemblies, form time sessions, social media, internal information boards, and staff training.
We have a number of young people in school who are young carers, and we support them in many different ways. In school meetings are arranged to allow students to work with the Young Carer Adviser, Rachel Maidstone, from Suffolk Family Carers, additional arrangements can be made for extended homework deadline if necessary, and students can contact home during the course of the school day if they need to check on a family member that they care for.
We also have regular drop in sessions for young carers, but that also include peers that are not young carers, to enable them to find out more about the work of Suffolk Family Carers. This is a time to relax, socialise, chat, play games and eat together in a quiet environment. The Young Carer adviser is also present in as many of the meetings as possible.
If you would like to have any further information regarding our support for young carers in our academy, please contact Julie Mayo.
To support young carers, we work with Suffolk Young Carers to provide:
Young Carer Advisor
My name is Rachel and I am the Young Carer Adviser for Ormiston Denes Academy. My role within the school is to provide support for the young people who care for someone within the family home. This can vary between caring for someone with a physical disability or someone who is experiencing a mental health condition. I carry out one to one sessions where the young carers can talk to myself about any concerns or worries they may have. I can also work with the young carers by doing confidence or self-esteem workshops. Every few months I will also go into school and carry out a lunch club where we all get together, do activities and have fun.
Outside of school we offer respite for all our young carers and we also have a monthly club where we all come together and have lots of fun taking part and trying new activities.
Young Carer Advisor
Young Adult Carer Advisor
Laura Astell is our Young Adult Carer Advisor. Laura has been working for Suffolk Family Carers since July 2018. She loves working with the young adult carers and supporting them through the transition into adulthood. Knowing how much responsibility many have in their lives Laura likes being able to provide opportunities for respite and personal development.
The Work of Suffolk Young Carers
Suffolk Family Carers welcome referrals for young people aged 5 years and upwards, who are doing more than would usually be expected of a person their age due to the long term condition of a family member. They refer to carers aged 16-24 years as Young Adult Carers.
While some young carers offer practical help, others may provide more emotional support. Caring for a parent with a physical condition, for example, may involve physical help such as getting dressed or doing the cooking, but caring for a parent with a mental health problem, or who misuses drugs or alcohol, involves more emotional guidance and support. Sibling carers may feel the need to keep an eye on the brother or sister they care for or worry about them when they are in school.
Their team of experienced and knowledgeable advisers can offer:
• One to one catch up’s to provide well-being support.
• Opportunities to meet other carers and have a break from their caring role.
• Workshops and programmes to build confidence and life skills.
• Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
• Advice and support in school.
• Condition specific information to increase understanding and reduce worry.
• Advocacy when their voice needs to be heard.
• Signposting to other relevant agencies.
• They endeavour to support young people through crucial points of their life whether this is deciding on further or higher education or employment, or choices about independence.
The young people they work with say: “The advisers are very friendly and give you useful advice and information that will make you feel more happy and confident when speaking to others. Plus it’s a great way to make new friends who are in the same situations as yourself. It’s a great way to have a break from home.”
Contact Suffolk Young Carers
Are you aged 9 to 15? Does a member of your household have a long term illness, a disability, mental health issues or drug/alcohol addiction? If you said ‘yes’ to these questions, Suffolk Young Carers is here to help.
• Tel: 01473 835430
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Web: www.suffolkfamilycarers.org/young-carers/
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