Do more to support young carers
YOUNG carers need much more support and a councillor from Mull has made it her mission to make sure it happens.
Councillor Mary-Jean Devon, the policy leader for children in Argyll and Bute council, has taken her campaign for a Young Carers Week all the way to first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Ms Sturgeon has said councillor Devon’s concerns are valid and the Scottish government will look at implementing changes as soon as possible. Councillor Devon told the Oban Times: ‘My suggestion would be that we could have a Young Carers Week where every school in Scotland would have the opportunity to address and put right the issues young people live with every single day.
‘The life of a young carer is very hard.
‘I was privileged to be invited to the final day of the Young Carers festival on Thursday August 6 in West Linton.
‘The last part of the day was political speed dating/mini surgery session.
‘Invited guests were seated in groups at tables. Young carers in groups of four to six then had approximately 10 minutes to talk to us about the issues important to them as young carers.
‘These sessions were very informative and I found them very emotional. I was very dismayed to hear that the majority of our carers feel that they are being let down.
‘Some of the issues raised were: how schools could better support young carers, increased time to complete homework, teachers to be trained about young carers, rights for young carers, how being a young carer impacts on their mental health and Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) payments being stopped if they are late for school because they are a young carer.
‘The thread that seemed to go through all their concerns was that schools and the education system have to give more consideration to the life of these young people.
‘We have to remember these young carers have been denied the normal life of a young person.’