Campaign launched to give young carers in West Sussex their childhood back

Campaign launched to give young carers their childhood backCampaign launched to give young carers their childhood back
Campaign launched to give young carers their childhood back
Today (Wednesday March 15), a new campaign Give Back Childhood was launched by Carers Support West Sussex, a charity working in partnership with schools and local services to support 2,400 children and young carers in West Sussex - some as young as five.

A young carer is anyone under the age of 18 who takes on the personal, practical or emotional care of a parent or sibling who is unwell, disabled or has mental health problems.

The campaign is raising awareness of the impact being a young carer can have and raising funds so the Young Carers Partnership, who work with schools and local services, can continue to provide young carers with much-needed skills to cope through activities, holiday programmes and regular support groups.

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Sonia Mangan, Chief Executive of Carers Support West Sussex, said: “Being a carer at any age can be lonely and tough, but when you’re a child it’s even tougher. Many children in West Sussex are missing out on the experience of childhood - swapping playtime and precious memories to take on responsibility way beyond their years to look after someone they love.

“Without support, the impact often takes a huge toll on young people’s stress levels, schoolwork, confidence and even career prospects. Our ‘Give Back Childhood’ campaign is aiming to raise funds to make sure young carers have the chance to experience significant moments of childhood – the fun, the hobbies, the exploration and the friendships – before it’s too late.

“These are amazing children, doing an amazing job and often very proud of what they do – but they deserve the time and space to be children.”

Amy, a young carer aged seventeen, has been caring for her mum since she was eight and attends the Carers Support weekly carer’s group: “The support I’ve had has been amazing and I have made so many friends who understand what I’m going through, throughout the years. The staff are there to listen to you, they can help, and they’re all caring. If I hadn’t had the group I wouldn’t have been able to cope.”The campaign highlights the realities of young people taking on the role of full-time carer, part-time child and the urgency of ensuring children don’t miss out on their childhood.

Here’s how your donation could help:

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• £20 could fund a young carer to attend a young carer group, connecting them to a network of peer support

• £50 could help us to identify and support a new child who is a carer

• £200 could fund weekly daytime holiday activities for four eight to 11 year-olds

To find out more about the campaign or to make a donation, visit the Carers Support West Sussex JustGiving page at

*names have been changed to protect anonymity