Blackpool young carers take their stories to Parliament

Two Blackpool teenagers visited Parliament to tell MPs of their experiences as young adult carers and the issues they face.

Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 10:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 11:11 am
Blackpool Young Adult Carers with MP Paul Maynard. Left to right, Josh Monk, Claire Hall, Paul Maynard MP

Their trip was part of Carers’ Week where Blackpool Carers Centre staff nand users highlighted the range of help and services it provides.

Claire Taylor, 18, and Josh Monk, 18, met MP Paul Maynard to talk about their caring role and the impact it has had on their education and mental health.

Josh recounted how he was unable to attend college while he was in hospital with his Grandma.

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Nationally, 29 per cent of Young Adult Carers drop out of college or university – over four times the national average. They also spoke about how colleges need to be flexible and understand that carers can have different priorities.

Josh said “it’s not something you can just decide not to do, some of my tutors didn’t seem to understand that.”

Claire also highlighted the importance of mental health and wellbeing for carers.

She said: “A lot of people don’t realise that having to take care of a loved one can also impact their mental health.”

She said 45 per cent of Young Adult Carers report mental health problems.

Young Adult Carers Support Worker Michaela Goodridge said: “We’re extremely proud of Claire and Josh, they spoke passionately and eloquently about issues that matter to them and we’re hopeful their voices will be heard.”

MP Paul Maynard said: “This demonstrates the impact caring can have on their education especially as they get into further education, it becomes less flexible and more difficult to catch up.”