Who we are.
We are a Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO) set up to support young carers aged 8 to 18 who live in the Winchester District.
Young carers are children and young people who care for a parent or sibling with a long-term illness or disability.
Types of caring
The tasks undertaken by children and young people vary according to the nature of the illness or disability, as well as the level and frequency of need for care and the structure of the family unit.
A young carer may undertake some or all of the following:
■ Giving emotional support or worrying.
■ Practical tasks such as cooking, housework and shopping.
■ Managing the family budget, collecting benefits and prescriptions.
■ Physical care such as lifting.
■ Personal care such as dressing, washing, helping with toileting needs.
■ Giving medication
■ Looking after or “parenting” younger siblings.
Negative aspects of caring
■ There may be problems at school, with completing homework and getting qualifications.
■ Young carers can be isolated from other children of the same age and from other family members.
■ They may lack time for play, leisure, or sport.
■ They may get a lack of recognition, praise or respect from others.
■ They may feel that there is nobody there for them and that professionals do not listen to them.
■ They may develop their own health problems as a result of caring; physically or emotionally.
■ They may feel that they are different from other children.
■ They may feel that no one else understands their experiences.
■ They may have problems moving into adulthood, especially with finding work, living on their own and establishing relationships.
■ They may experience conflicting emotions, such as loving the cared-for person while resenting the burden of care; being proud of what they do as carers while resisting the restrictions made on their young lives. This may lead to the young person feeling guilty or confused and perhaps further isolated from their peer group.
Inappropriate caring can impact upon the young carer’s own well-being and put them in need of support from health and social care services.
Positive aspects of caring
■ It is important to note that young carers do not necessarily dwell on the negative impacts of caring. They may welcome the sense of pride they feel about their caring role and achievements. They may also benefit from a close family environment that is supportive and caring of each other.
■ The experience of being a young carer has some positive elements. Young carers can be highly self-motivated multi-taskers, coping with and achieving at school whilst also undertaking a caring role.
■ However, it is important that recognition of the positive impacts of care does not inadvertently encourage the continuation of inappropriate care taking place or lead to the caring becoming a cause for celebration and not action.
■ A young carer’s ability to cope and achieve must not be
used to mask their need for support.
We believe young carers are children first and should be free to develop emotionally and take full advantage of opportunities for educational achievement and life success.
To improve the lives of children and young people with caring responsibilities by providing safe, quality support to individuals and offering a holistic approach to the whole family.
Ben Hogbin Manager
Ben joined in 2005 and has an Advanced Professional Diploma in Business Studies, is a Charted Manager and is an Advanced Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator. Ben takes lead on our Wellness Programme.
Alison Cross Young Carers Support Co-ordinator
Alison joined in 2007 and has NVQ’s in Information, Advice & Guidance and Counselling. Alison takes lead on our Schools Programme.
Anna Hamilton Young Carers Support Co-ordinator
Anna joined in 2012 and has NVQ’s in Youth Work, Information, Advice & Guidance and Counselling. Anna is also a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator. Anna takes lead on our Exploration Programme.
Tana Spreadbury Young Carers Support Co-ordinator
Tana joined as a volunteer in 2016 and became a member of staff in 2017. Tana takes lead on our Activities Programme.
Tim Woodland Chairman
Captain in the Royal Navy and ran a medical research charity SPARKS.
John Charles Morgan
A report was commissioned by Hampshire Social Services to identify young carers in the Winchester area and to encourage the relevant agencies to tailor their support to the needs of young carers.
In 1995 Jenny Frank MBE published the report in a book called ‘Couldn’t Care More’. It was one of the first insights into the needs of these young carers and the impacts this responsibility has on their social, personal, emotional and educational development. As a result of these findings the Winchester Young Carers Project was set up as an independent charity in 1999 and would be one of the first of its kind in the country.