Dudley Young Carers

Crossroads provide a wellbeing service to young carers (those up to the age of 18) throughout the Dudley borough, on behalf of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

The Dudley Young Carers team offer a supportive service to those whose lives are affected by caring for a family member who has a disability or long-term illness, including mental ill health, drug or alcohol related illness and/or a learning disability.

Caring for a loved one can be challenging; physically, emotionally or both. Our integrated wellbeing service identifies and prioritises the needs of young carers across Dudley, providing them with access to support and services, tailored to their individual needs to enable them to live their own lives healthily.

Who are young carers?

Young carers are children or young adults up to the age of 18, who help care for another person. This may be someone in their family, i.e. a parent, grandparent, sibling or other relative, who needs looking after because they have a physical disability, a mental health condition, a learning disability, a drug or alcohol related illness, a sensory impairment or any long-term illness or condition.

Some of the roles undertaken by young carers may include:

  • Helping the person they care for get dressed or washed
  • Helping with housework, cooking or shopping
  • Helping a family member with their medication
  • Providing emotional support
  • Helping a sibling with a disability.

If you’d like to read more about what the role of a young carer may involve, please take a look at the helpful information available from the Carers Trust.

The effects of caring

Young carers can be from any background. Its not always easy and often taking on these extra responsibilities can affect their friendships and relationships, learning and development, health and wellbeing or future career choices.

Some of the difficulties they may face are:

  • Worrying about the person they care for
  • Increased levels of stress or anxiety
  • Feeling alone and different from everyone else
  • Feeling that there is no one to talk to who understands
  • Lack of time and opportunity to take part in social activities and have a break
  • Difficulties with school or college and keeping up with homework or coursework
  • Young adult carers may also struggle with financial difficulties or finding employment.

How can we help?

Caring for someone can be very isolating, worrying and stressful. If you think of yourself as a carer, you should not have to do so much caring that it makes you upset, unwell or miss school or further education.

It is important to know that there is help and support available to you. Following a Carers Assessment, Dudley Young Carers can provide –

  • Free, confidential, one-to-one support with a dedicated worker
  • Information and advice
  • Opportunity to join a Young Carers Group
  • Signposting and referral to other agencies who can offer support
  • Training sessions and workshops
  • Emotional support through counselling
  • School support and help with transitions to college/university or employment
  • Young Carer newsletter with advice, tips and information
  • Opportunity to take an activity break, make friends and have some fun!

Young Carer Groups

Our Young Carer Groups are an opportunity to make new friends. Watch this space for a calendar of groups taking place in 2020!

Contact Us

If you would more information, or to speak to someone about how we could support you, please call 01384 886 429 or send an email to info@sandwellcrossroads.org. Alternatively, complete our online referral form and someone will call you back.