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Charity warning about rise in young carers

  • 25/01/2018

On Young Carers Awareness Day (25th January), national poverty charity Turn2us is warning about the rise in young people who are carers. The charity is concerned that there has been a 33% increase in the number of young carers. It is pointing to figures published by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) which show that there are 39,720 people in the UK who are aged 18 to 24 years old and receiving Carer’s Allowance, up from 29,680 in 2013. 

Turn2us also highlights a rise in children who are carers, with the DWP figures revealing that 2,150 children in the UK who are aged 16 to 17 years old are receiving Carer’s Allowance, up from 1,400 five years ago.

The charity says that caring responsibilities for such young people can lead to long-term financial difficulty as it limits their ability to undertake education and develop careers. 

Outlining the charity’s concerns about young carers, Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, said: “Caring for someone with a disability is a huge responsibility and most people become carers because someone close to them needs and relies on them.

“This combination of need for support and emotional ties can put a lot of pressure on the carer, and so this is a particularly hard situation for a young adult to be dealing with. It is crucial that all carers, and young carers in particular, are given a range of support that gives them the options to learn and work that those who are not carers have.”

People receive £62.70 a week Carer’s Allowance if they care for someone with a disability at least 35 hours a week and that person receives certain benefits related to their disability. That person doesn’t have to be a family member or live with the carer, although they often do.

Turn2us is urging anyone who is caring for someone with a disability to seek its help at Turn2us.org.uk. It says that it can help carers understand and access the support that they are eligible for and entitled to.