To mark Young Carers Awareness Day (31 January 2019) Solihull Council leaders have come together with young carers across the borough to refresh their Young Carers Promise.
Solihull Council first adopted a Young Carers Promise in 2013 following discussions with the Young Carers’ Decision Making Group and the Commissioner of young carers’ services. Since then the promise has been continually reviewed and updated on to reflect ongoing input from young carers themselves. The purpose of the promise is to ensure that young carers feel confident and supported in their caring role.
The renewed promise was signed in the Mayor’s Parlour by Council leader Cllr Bob Sleigh OBE and Chief Executive Nick Page. Also putting their name to the pledge was Director for Children’s services Sally Hodges and Sir Tony Hawkhead, Vice Chair of NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group.
The refreshed promise reaffirms the Council’s commitment to help support young carers, to listen to them, provide chances for family time and make sure that they can be children and young people first.
Amongst the young carers attending the event was 15 year old Ellie Jones who helps care for her younger brother.
Ellie said: “It’s nice for young carers like me to feel that we are being listened to. Meeting with the Young Carers’ Decision Making Group gives us a chance to share our experiences and let people know what kind of support we really need.”
Cllr Ken Meeson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Young carers like Ellie do an outstanding job providing emotional, physical and practical support to their loved ones. Young Carers are often required to take on additional pressures and responsibilities that most of their peers simply don’t experience and of which few people are aware.
“I was pleased to sign the first ‘Promise’ as Council Leader in 2013 and it is important that it is reviewed and refreshed every few years. This is the very least we can do is recognise and publicise the vital role they play and look at what we can do to support them in their care roles. That’s what this young carers promise is all about. We remain committed to listening to young carers and ensuring they have the opportunity to be children and young people first.”
An action plan to deliver on the new promise will now be drawn up and launched to coincide with Carers week in June (10-16).