Carers Week brings Hounslow’s young carers to Downing Street

Seven of Hounslow’s young carers aged between seven and twelve attended No 10 and took part in fun activities, along with speaking to the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds about their experiences as young carers.

Published: Friday, 22nd June 2018

Young Carer
Bethanie York, Hounslow Young Carer

Honeypot Children’s Charity, chosen as Charity of the Year 2018 by No 10 was welcomed to Downing Street on (Monday 11 June) to celebrate their work with young carers on the first day of Carers Week 2018.

Seven of Hounslow’s young carers aged between seven and twelve attended No 10 and took part in fun activities, along with speaking to the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds about their experiences as young carers.

Bethanie York, a young carer who works as a volunteer to support the activities with Hounslow’s Young Carers Project was nominated by Hounslow’s young carers to represent the Honeypot Charity, in recognition of her involvement with the Hounslow project.

At Downing Street, Bethanie was invited to meet with the Prime Minister’s Speech Writer to prepare a short speech to give alongside the Honeypot Director, Simi Woodwal.

Bethanie has been a constant and long-term supporter of other young carers by being actively involved with Hounslow’s Young Carers Project – which supports and organises social events for 300 young carers, aged five to 18 or up to 25 with additional needs. There are estimated to be up to two-thousand young carers under the age of 18 in Hounslow who care for a relative with an illness, disability, mental health problem or a problem with alcohol or drugs.

As a young carer, Bethanie supports her mother and her sister, alongside this she regularly volunteers at respite sessions for other young carers. By receiving many years of support from the Young Carers Project, Bethanie has been referred to a range of development and respite opportunities such as;

  • Money Matters, Train the Trainer residential course
  • NHS Champions residential training, leading to further advocacy and awareness raising opportunities
  • Weekends away at the Young Carers’ Festival
  • Residential respite available through Honeypot Children’s Charity

Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Services, Hounslow Council, said: “We are very proud of our hard working young people and congratulate them on this wonderful opportunity.

“We want to make sure that all young carers in our borough are getting the help and support that they need and the Honeypot Children’s Charity have provided many opportunities over the years for our young carers to access a residential respite break, sometimes even their first holiday away from home.

“Raising awareness within schools and the wider community is very important, because many children and young people don’t even realise that the things they do at home mean they are a young carer, let alone that there is support that they can get.”

Since 1996 Honeypot has been working to enhance the lives of young carers and vulnerable children aged five to 12 years by providing respite breaks and ongoing outreach support. Young carers are given a break from demanding and stressful responsibilities at home and provide a safe, nurturing environment where children at risk can develop their full potential. 

Bethannie York, Hounslow Young Carer and Honeypot graduate, said: “With the help of Honeypot and the vital influence that they had in my early life, I have become the person I am today, with ambitions of university and becoming a museum curator, and for that I am eternally grateful. I know the impact this charity has made on my life is unimaginable, but through this partnership with 10 Downing Street, just think how many young carers like me they will be able to help give a brighter future to.”

Damian Hinds, Education Secretary Damian Hinds, said: “Young carers are truly heroic, selflessly caring for those they love. The Honeypot Children’s Charity and the volunteers behind it do an incredible job in raising awareness of young carers and supporting them to take a break, have a chance to make friendships and enjoy their childhood. Carers Week is about celebrating and recognising the efforts of carers and we are committed to supporting young carers so they can achieve their potential, as for all children.

If you’re aged five to 18 years of age or up to 25 with additional needs and care for someone, Hounslow can help. We can provide professional support as well as setting up activities for you to socialise and meet other young carers, help your school understand your needs, lend an ear to listen and give you time to be yourself. We can also ensure your cared for person is safe and well so this time is your time to relax and take part in things you usually cannot attend, such as outings.

For advice and support, visit the Young Hounslow website.

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