Sir George sponsored a Reception at the House of Commons which launches a new coalition of organisations that help young carers
Below is the text of what he said.
I welcome all the guests comprising MPs, peers, young adult carers and representatives from the National Young Carers Coalition.
This reception is to formally launch the National Young Carers Coalition. Membership includes The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Barnardo’s, Action for Children, Crossroads, The Children’s Society, Family Action, Young Carers International at Nottingham University, YMCA Fairthorne Manor. In total, through their various networks the National Young Carers Coalition is reaching out to almost 35,000 young carers.
There have been many achievements made to improve support for young carers and their families and this is reflected in the UK being globally recognised as the standard bearer of support for young carers. It is pleasing to see that young carers received specific focus in the Carers Strategy launched in June 2008 and that they are a target group in the recent Think Family focus.
However there are still many challenges, not least in reaching those young carers who receive no support at all, and don’t have the same opportunities and life chances that other children and young people may have. The NYCC will continue to work hard to make sure that the needs of young carers and their families are part of national decision making.
As well as celebrating our achievements today, we are also here to focus on one particular group of young carers, those that are aged between 16-24- young adults carers. The lack of integration between children’s and adults’ services can lead to a lack of support for young adult carers who fear the loss of support when they turn 18. Additionally, we know that life chances such as education, employment and training can be seriously hindered by a life with caring responsibilities and this age group are particularly affected by the challenges of trying to balance caring whilst carving out a life of their own. There are 290,000 young adult carers (aged 16-24) in the UK. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and the University of Nottingham published a report on the key issues of facing this group of carers and made specific recommendation to improve support for them. The research was written by Fiona Becker and Professor Saul Becker, and Professor Saul Becker will speak shortly about the report’s key findings. Copies of the report are available here today."
After Sir George spoke, Baroness Morgan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families launched a £1million Innovation Fund for young carers services that is going to be managed by the coalition, with The Princess Royal Trust for Carers as budget holder.