Young carers across Brent will be asking people to spare a thought for them and the challenges they face on National Young Carers' Awareness Day on Thursday 26 January.
In Brent, it is estimated that there is upwards of 3,000 young carers who provide essential and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled, or misuses substances. These young people face 'adult-sized' responsibilities on top of school work which often affects their ability to enjoy their childhood.
National Young Carers' Awareness Day was launched by the Carers' Trust - a national support organisation for carers, to get people talking about the hundreds of thousands of carers in the UK who are so often unidentified and who often miss out on vital services and support they are entitled to.
A young carer living in Brent said:
"I missed a lot of school because dad wasn't well. I didn't like leaving him in case he fell over and couldn't reach a phone or pull the cord. I didn't go to school as often as I should have."
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said:
"Any initiative which encourages people to 'think young carer' is welcome. We are supporting a small number of young carers in Brent but there are so many others out there that are not getting the support that they are entitled to.
"In order to do more, we want to encourage young carers to feel confident enough to identify themselves and speak to someone they trust about the challenges they are facing. We are working with partners across Brent to support those that come forward and to also increase the support we offer."
For more information on young carers and what support is in place, please contact a member of the Children and Families Information Service (CFIS) on 020 8937 3001.