Project information

Online Support for Young Carers: YoungCarers.Org

YCNet is the leading website for young carers & is unique in providing support to all young carers, regardless of their age, location or the condition of the person they care for. This is why it is so important that the site meets the diverse needs and expectations of this beneficiary group.

The website launched in 2004 and is ongoing

Charity information: Carers Trust

Carers Trust logo
  • Need


    Young carers are children who take on practical or emotional caring responsibilities normally be expected of an adult. The impact can be seen in young carers missing school, being isolated, bullied & deterioration of their physical or mental ill health.
    •There are 175,000 young carers in the UK
    •27% of young carers (11–15yrs) miss school or experience educational difficulties.
    •68% of young carers are bullied & feel isolated in schools
    •13,000 of the UK’s young carers care for over 50 hrs


    Our dedicated website is a lifeline for young carers who are often isolated due to their caring role. It provides advice & direct support to young carers. A safe & trusted environment where they can share their thoughts & experiences, take part in discussions, comment on blogs & get in touch with each other.

    It offers a buddying scheme for new members & provides one-to-one support sessions for young carers who are in crisis or need extra support.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the functionality usability and accessiblity


    » Site design & layout to focus more on interactivity & community, so that young carers know immediately what the site is about & how we can help them

    Success will be increased registered users, user feedback and the number of interractions and posts to our networks.

    Aim 2

    Make young carers’ voices heard


    » Provide more opportunities & space for young carers to contribute to the site via personalisation & opportunities to share their experiences

    Success will be the level of young carers leading discussions about caring publically, in the media and on the website.

    Aim 3

    Encourage young carers to support each other


    » Promote innovative online ways in which young carers can support each other through their caring roles and access the information they need

    Success will be the number of registered users, feedback from users and discussion posts and interactions.

  • Impact


    The following changes will come about as a result of our work:
    Young carers will have increased access to online support from peers and professionals. Young carers will have a space to share their views, thoughts and feelings without judgement with others who understand what they are going through. Unidentified young carers will be encouraged to seek support offline.
    Success will be demonstrated by registered user numbers, activity on the website, discussion board topics and user feedback.


    The project has been running since 2004 and we are confident that the risks are low. However without funds to update the infrastructure and functionality of the website risks being outdated and not flexible enough to meet the demands and needs of a technologically savvy audience.

    If young people cannot interact with it in a way that's meaningful/relevant to them it runs the risk of not being able to deliver the service or meet expectations.


    We will report to donors via the following mechanisms;

    Annual report
    Supporter newsletter
    website and social networks

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £155,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £115,000 Website Consultancy web development, annual hosting, carer focus groups and contingency
      £25,000 Project management In house staff time (50%)
      £15,000 Marketing Raising awareness of the site to increase traffic
  • Background


    The project is web based with links to offline support.


    Isolated young carers will benefit from this work.

    Last year the estimate for the number of young carers reached online was over 10,000.

    This year so far, YCnet has received on average 6,800 visits per month (81,600 visits in a year). In terms of online community, there are now a total of 4620 young carers registered on YCNet. In an average month there are 116 posts on the forums, 37 emails from young carers to our support team and 35 buddy messages.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us? offers a lifeline to young carers who are often isolated due to their caring role. Our Online Support Team is available to provide help, advice and information to carers online, privately and via popular discussion boards, and via online events for registered users.

    Carers are also able to access specialist advice during themed web-chats hosted by external experts on bullying, mental health, multiple sclerosis, self-harm, career development & education.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Michele Lambert

    Website Manager responsible for all online services and project leader for the redevelopment of the site.

    Online Support Team

    The team of online support workers, working directly with young carers online.

    Fiza Azar

    Online Editor responsible for engaging users, content and supporting the Web Manager in delivering the project.


could contribute to maintaining online forums

When I go to my friends’ houses I see how different things are for them. I often wish my mum and I could be like that

Lucy - Young Carer