Young carers from serving, reservist and veteran families have launched a campaign in Fife schools to raise awareness and encourage greater numbers of young people with caring responsibilities to get support from local charities.
The campaign has launched during Carers Week by a group of young carers who have co-developed videos and posters for primary and secondary school pupils in partnership with Forces Children Scotland and Fife Young Carers.
The working group includes Erin Sheldon, Gracie Trotter and Heather Pollock who shared their lived experience to inspire young people, who may or may not be aware that they are young carers, to learn more about the support available from charities like Forces Children Scotland and Fife Young Carers.
A young carer is someone aged twenty-five and under who cares for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without their support on a day-to-day basis. Young carers can provide practical support, like cooking housework and shopping, to physical, personal care and emotional support. Young people can also help manage family budgets, collect prescriptions and help look after siblings and pets.
This campaign has received funding from the National Lottery Big Community Fund to highlight additional unique challenges young carers from armed forces and veteran families overcome, such as taking on greater responsibilities when a parent is deployed.
Gary Seath, from Forces Children Scotland said: “The young people involved in our ‘Ignite’ Project have co-developed what has proved a very powerful, emotive series of short social media videos as well as two bold, vibrant and engaging posters which hopefully resonate with peers and families from serving, reservist and veteran backgrounds across Fife.
Jodie Burn, from Fife Young Carers said:“This project was a great opportunity for young carers to work together from both organisations to create posters and a social media campaign to highlight that support, from organisations like Forces Children Scotland and Fife Young Carers, is available for young carers with a forces background.”