Fears over future of Harrow Carers youth project

Fears over future of youth carers project

Fears over future of youth carers project

First published in News Harrow Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

The future of a project supporting young carers is in doubt after months of delays with council funding.

Harrow Carers, which is an independent voluntary organisation helping unpaid carers, has not received new funding from Harrow Borough Council for its youth provision since the end of March.

The council has funded the Youth Carers Project, which provides free services to children and teenagers who may be caring for a loved one at home, since 2001.

Hannah Wakeman, 19, who cared for a family member while she was at school, said: "Harrow Carers helped me so much with my situation.

"It was a place where you could escape from the daily routine and where you didn't have to worry about what was going on at home.

"To think that some young carers may not be able to get the help and support I had when I needed it most is quite worrying."

Hannah, who is now at university, added: "I don't know where I would be without the youth project. I was able to just talk to people and not worry about being judged."

Respite care and group activities are among the services the project provides.

Paul Dowling, whose children have used the young carers service, said: "What is important to young people who are part of the project is that it recognises they have taken on a huge responsibility at a young age.

"But also it rewards them for taking on that responsibility and gives them the chance to have some time away from it. It's a very important organisation."

Harrow Carers estimates there are more than 24,000 people in the borough providing unpaid care for loved ones or neighbours, and up to 1,000 are believed to be between the below the age of 18.

A Harrow Council spokeswoman said: "We have been working hard with Harrow Schools over the past six months to identify young carers, so together we can support their needs much better.

"Based on our research and engagement with schools, the Harrow Carers voluntary organisation and young carers themselves, we are now designing a radically better way to support them."

The spokeswoman added the council would be continuing to fund the current service and is waiting for contracts to be finalised before money can be released.

Comments (2)

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3:12pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

As a Carer myself since the past 42 years,I have personally experienced the highs and lows of looking after your loved one.You have to BE a Carer to appreciate what it encompasses.Your whole life is subsumed by your caring role.Most don't even realise it and simply keep their heads down and keep going!Fortunately,Ha
rrow Carers are doing their best to help redress this and have been slowly but surely helping empower our local Carers.How would we cope without their support?

I have also had the opportunity to serve as Vice Chair for Harrow Carers some years back and had the privilege of meeting with young Carers who give up so much at such a young age to do that which only they are there to do---look after their beloved cared for person.The love and selfless care cannot be measured.

The voluntary Harrow Police & Community Consultative Group had had supported young Carers from time to time,ensuring they were up to speed on safety issues and were prevented along with their cared for person,from becoming victims of crime--this particularly at the most sensitive times of the year.It was awesome to see these vulnerable young folk looking after their vulnerable elders.Often they had to get to school on time after ensuring they had made their loved one comfortable and provided for till they got back home.Many suffered a lack of sleep and their education was suffering.

The comments from 19 year old Hannah Wakeman are particularly poignant as it reminds me of so many young Carers who had recounted countless stories of a life of true dedication and sacrifice at a tender age,giving up the fun and games their peers took for granted.

I sincerely hope our young Carers receive funding to support them sooner rather than later.You cannot imagine how each day delayed impacts on the quality of their lives.

It's good to know Harrow Council are preparing to continue funding and will be releasing this amount which is a life-line for the young Carers as well as their loved ones.Every single day makes a difference so please make it a priority.Let us reward the most vulnerable in our society for their selfless efforts so they can also have some chance to re-charge their batteries.

The Youth Carers Project is worth its weight in gold.Let's get it rolling once more!
As a Carer myself since the past 42 years,I have personally experienced the highs and lows of looking after your loved one.You have to BE a Carer to appreciate what it encompasses.Your whole life is subsumed by your caring role.Most don't even realise it and simply keep their heads down and keep going!Fortunately,Ha rrow Carers are doing their best to help redress this and have been slowly but surely helping empower our local Carers.How would we cope without their support? I have also had the opportunity to serve as Vice Chair for Harrow Carers some years back and had the privilege of meeting with young Carers who give up so much at such a young age to do that which only they are there to do---look after their beloved cared for person.The love and selfless care cannot be measured. The voluntary Harrow Police & Community Consultative Group had had supported young Carers from time to time,ensuring they were up to speed on safety issues and were prevented along with their cared for person,from becoming victims of crime--this particularly at the most sensitive times of the year.It was awesome to see these vulnerable young folk looking after their vulnerable elders.Often they had to get to school on time after ensuring they had made their loved one comfortable and provided for till they got back home.Many suffered a lack of sleep and their education was suffering. The comments from 19 year old Hannah Wakeman are particularly poignant as it reminds me of so many young Carers who had recounted countless stories of a life of true dedication and sacrifice at a tender age,giving up the fun and games their peers took for granted. I sincerely hope our young Carers receive funding to support them sooner rather than later.You cannot imagine how each day delayed impacts on the quality of their lives. It's good to know Harrow Council are preparing to continue funding and will be releasing this amount which is a life-line for the young Carers as well as their loved ones.Every single day makes a difference so please make it a priority.Let us reward the most vulnerable in our society for their selfless efforts so they can also have some chance to re-charge their batteries. The Youth Carers Project is worth its weight in gold.Let's get it rolling once more! Sonoo Malkani
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Fri 25 Jul 14

jackdaw says...

Why not save on the consultation and appointment of a chief executive. if I had my way the proposed salary would be given to provide support for Harrow's young carers.

They are saving the council an enormous amount of money. If they are not funded I would consider the council guilty of institutional emotional abuse of these young people. They deserve to have a childhood and anything that can be done to help them should be done.

Hang your head in shame Harrow council.
Why not save on the consultation and appointment of a chief executive. if I had my way the proposed salary would be given to provide support for Harrow's young carers. They are saving the council an enormous amount of money. If they are not funded I would consider the council guilty of institutional emotional abuse of these young people. They deserve to have a childhood and anything that can be done to help them should be done. Hang your head in shame Harrow council. jackdaw
  • Score: 3

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