Project information

Crossroads Young Carers Project

Crossroads Young Carers Project provides support for children who care for another member of their family who may be ill, disabled, have mental health problems or an addiction to alcohol or drugs. The project offers social activities, befriending and practical help.

Project is ongoing

Charity information: Crossroads Caring for Carers (NI) Ltd

Crossroads Caring for Carers (NI) Ltd logo
  • Need

    Need

    Crossroads believes that young carers must be identified and supported in order to protect their freedom of choice and to prevent any adverse effect on their educational, social or personal development. Caring can be a highly rewarding experience when appropriate support is available. However, the responsibility of caring can have an adverse effect on a young carer's physical, mental and emotional health and have an impact on their short and long term financial security,

    Solution

    The Young Carers Project facilitates young carers in their right to have access to health, social security, physical care, family life, play and recreation, culture and leisure, as well as adequate standards of living and a good education. Crossroads Young Carers Project allows young carers to be protected, to be safe from discrimination, abuse and neglect, exploitation, substance abuse, injustice and conflict. The project gives young carers the right to participation and to be consulted.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve social interaction with peers and increase social development for young carers.

    Activities

    » Run monthly social outings to reduce social exclusion. This is a time for them to mix with their peers and make new friends.
    » Through fundraising we are able to run arts and crafts and photography work shops for the most isolated and vulnerable young carers.
    » We are also able to provide through funding special residentials for our young carers to interact and improve their team building skills.

    Focus groups involving young carers are held each year along with questionnaires to monitor and ensure that the service continues to meet the needs of the young carers.


    Aim 2

    Improve physical and mental health for young carers.

    Activities

    » Through fundraising we are able to run arts and crafts and photography work shops for the most isolated and vulnerable young carers.
    » Run monthly social outings to reduce social exclusion. This is a time for them to mix with their peers and make new friends.
    » We recognise that when someone is ill, the whole family is affected. As this is the case we provide free first aid and moving and handling training.
    » Crossroads collaborate with existing service providers, eg Health and Social Care and Education Boards to ensure that an efficient service is provided

    Focus groups involving young carers are held each year along with questionnaires to monitor and ensure that the service continues to meet the needs of the young carers.


    Aim 3

    Improve emotional well-being and quality of life for young carers.

    Activities

    » We provide monthly social activities which promote team building and encourage participation to provide peer support and the opportunity to interact.
    » We have an intergenerational project that brings mature and young together to pass on important life skills such as cooking and flower arranging.
    » We provide information for young carers and their families including a survival guide. This information is age appropriate, relevant and available.

    We continue to have good relations with the young carers and their families with whom we work and we strive to be as accessible as possible,


    Aim 4

    Improve educational attainment and increase life chances for young carers.

    Activities

    » As a project we continue to speak in schools and give classes on what a young carer is in order to help identify them and raise awareness.
    » We are registered and work with the South Eastern Education and Library Board community relations and diversity team. We also provide teacher training
    » Crossroads Young Carers Survival Guides have been circulated to many schools throughout Northern Ireland.

    Focus groups involving young carers are held each year along with questionnaires to monitor and ensure that the service continues to meet the needs of the young carers.


  • Impact

    Impact

    The project gives opportunities to young carers to ensure they fulfil their potential and aims to narrow the gap in outcomes between children who are young carers and children with no caring role. It is Crossroads' practice to consult with young carers and their families in the planning, design and monitoring of the Young Carers Project. To ensure the views of young carers and their families are received we conduct a yearly questionnaire and we evaluate the impact of the project.

    Risk

    There is a risk that some young carers may become too old for the project or whose circumstances may change which means they no longer require the service. In order to address this we would monitor all our young carers and amend our database accordingly as we have a waiting list for the services we provide. This would allow us to support more children as a result.

    Reporting

    Funders of this project will receive a quarterly monthly email on the project detailing the ongoing and forthcoming activities and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £117,816

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      Amount Heading Description
      £75,816 Outings Costs to provide monthly outings for the young carers
      £30,000 Staffing Salary for young carers project officer
      £12,000 Administration Including stationary, utilities and rent

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Donations and fundraising £5,011 Guaranteed
    Grant making bodies and trusts £13,500 Guaranteed
  • Background

    Location

    Our project is run from our office in Newtownards and currently helps children in the following local authority areas:- Antrim, Ards, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Down, Larne, Lisburn, Magherafelt, Newtownabbey, North Down and Moyle.

    Beneficiaries

    350 young carers will benefit from the project. These are all children between the ages of 5-18 years old who care for a member of their family who may be ill, disabled, have mental health problems or an addiction to alcohol or drugs.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    In providing this service Crossroads are in the unique position in that we take a holistic approach. This approach allows us to use our domiciliary service to provide respite for these children in conjunction with the services provided by the project. Whilst we are aware that young carers are a hidden group as a voluntary organisation we are well established into the community and the lives of people, they are not afraid to ask us for help and support. We work in partnership with the BMA (NI)

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Young Carers Project Officer

    The project officer coordinates the project.