Young adult carers ask for a “listening ear” in the borough

Wes Streeting and Elaine Norman with the young carers

Wes Streeting and Elaine Norman with the young carers - Credit: Archant

The borough’s young carers have asked for greater support and recognition from professional services and councillors at an outreach and information event yesterday.

Organised by the Redbridge carers cupport service in conjunction with Barnardos’ Indigo project, young people aged between 17-25 told their personal stories of caring for family members, and the impact this role has had on their own lives.

Cllrs Wes Streeting, Elaine Norman and other professionals heard the stories of Lavinia and Taryn, two sisters who care for their mother who suffers from multiple physical and mental health problems - despite both having young babies themselves.

Taryn, who has a three year old daughter said: “I wasn’t able to always go to school and access that education I needed to do well in exams, because of helping with my mum. Just one listening ear to all of this could go a long way.”

Emma Smart, young adult carers transition manager for the service, and organiser of the event, stressed the large role the young carers themselves had taken in helping to plan the event - which included a series of talks and interactive discussions.

She said: “The young adult carers are very active and vocal in the local community and at a national level. Carers feel there are issues with access to certain services and they wanted to put this event on to tell people about some of the problems they’re experiencing.

Glynis Donovan, executive director of the support service said: “It’s all about professionals walking in the shoes of young carers.

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“From this event, we want to get a pledge and commitment from councillors and other health and social professionals to improve these services locally for the young carers who do so much for their families.”