A charity project will identify more than 40 young carers at schools in Croydon over the next two years and help them to connect with appropriate support services.
The project is being run in partnership by the charity Off The Record and funded with a £440,000 grant from the L&Q Foundation.
Young carers are people, often teenagers but sometimes as youg as eight or nine, who are responsible for looking after a parent, guardian or relative who has poor mental or physical health, alcohol or drug dependency.
Called L&Q Young Carers, the programme is part of a wider project across eight boroughs in London, which will work jointly with 60 schools (between six and eight in each borough) to identify and help hundreds of young carers across London.
The schools will be chosen based upon their close proximity to a high concentration of homes managed by L&Q, of which there are more than 2,500 in Croydon.
Young carers’ extra responsibilities at home can lead them to falling behind socially and academically, which can affect their pursuit of higher education and their future earning potential.
Under this project, each newly identified young carer will be provided with a plan of support through building relationships with the Young Carers Trust and staff training at the school to promote future good practice.
It aims to improve young carer’s confidence, self-esteem, school attendance and performance and link them with longer term support services appropriate to their needs.
“Research indicates that as many as one in five young people aged from 5 to 19 in affordable housing maybe caring for someone at home,” said Matthew Corbett of L&Q.
“They are often hidden and unsure where to access support. By identifying and supporting these young people in L&Q homes and neighbourhoods we are creating stronger communities and places where people want to live.”
L&Q is a charitable housing association and a leading residential developer in London and the south-east. L&Q owns or manages more than 72,000 homes, providing rented homes that are genuinely affordable and helps people on to the housing ladder through options such as shared ownership. L&Q also rents and sells homes on the open market.
Anyone – whether a young carer or perhaps a parent who would like to get more help for their carer – who would like to find out more about the L&Q Young Carers project and the charity Off The Record can contact Jenny Lunn, Assessment Worker, or Mubin Choudhury, Project Coordinator, at Off The Record Croydon, telephone: 020 8649 9339 (option 2), or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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