Y Sort It Young Carers Camps Away & Day Trips
A story by Y Sort it Young Carers
We provided respite for Young Carers who received a short break away from their caring role and responsibilities at home, by hosting Mini Young Carer Camps that included an overnight stay and/or day trips.
The Young Carer Mini Camps/day trips were targeted at the hardest to reach and most vulnerable Young Carers that Y Sort It engages with via our Young Carers 1-2-1 service both existing and new referrals.
What Y Sort It Young Carers Camps Away & Day Trips did
Since receiving the Creative Breaks Funding we planned a number of activities to try and engage Young Carers who we identified as hard to reach. Initially some of our most hard to reach young people who receive 1-2-1 support felt uneasy attending the group work sessions and larger group activities that our service offers as they held anxieties over not knowing other young people that attended these sessions.
In order to try and reach these Young Carers we organised day trips to WWE Wrestling, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Xscape/Bowlplex, Grease Theatre Show, The Experience Go-Karting, Panic Rooms, and a Boxing Match at the Glasgow Hydro. These trips allowed the Young Carers to participate in respite activities over a shorter, more manageable period of time in which they felt comfortable with. This gave them the opportunity to build positive relationships with other Young Carers, and gave them the time to relax and enjoy being a young person participating in fun activities without having to worry about the person/s they care for at home.
We organised an overnight stay in Edinburgh for a group of six girls who only accessed our 1-2-1 service in school, who had very little confidence around other young people and would not consider accessing any other group activities. They also had not accessed any respite before. They were Involved in planning the activities they would like to experience, during their two day/one night break. They decided on a Ballet Show, Edinburgh Dungeons, Christmas Markets and Edinburgh Castle.
Another opportunity was a recent three night/four day trip to Aviemore, with twenty four individual Young Carers participating in adventurous outdoor activities that they had never experienced before. Although it was a larger group, we split everyone into smaller groups going by age range to ensure activities were age appropriate as well as siblings having a break, from each other. The trip was huge success.
Challenges during the funding period included staffing, due to three members of staff going off on maternity leave, however these positions were recruited successfully, with other Y sort It Youth Workers also helping out.
I was home-schooled for several years and therefore lacked confidence in meeting new people. I often have huge outbursts of anger when at home and will kick and punch things, mum often gets the full force of this behaviour, as it’s only the two of us at home. ‘Y Sort It has helped to increase my confidence, meet new people and to step outside my comfort zone’. It’s great to know that my worker is there for me to talk to when I need her’.
Jodi has engaged well with the service in terms of accessing 121 support, group work and respite opportunities. ‘The group work sessions are a great way for me to get away from the house and enjoy some chilled time with other Young Carers that I have met through the service’. ‘I feel a lot more confident now and have met some good friends through Y Sort It’. ‘The first trip I went on was a one night stay on the summer camp which I really enjoyed. It gave me the confidence to know that my mum would be okay back at home and also gave me some time to myself’.
Jodi and her mum realise the importance of each of them getting their own space and the respite trips are a great way of doing this. Jodi’s mum loves the fact that Jodi can go away and enjoy herself for the day/days as it’s good for them both to get some space. ‘Recently I went on the 3 night trip to Aviemore which came at a good time as me and mum needed some space, it was great fun and I felt it gave me time to relax and take part in activities that I wouldn’t have usually done’. ‘I have more confidence now, and hardly worry about things, I am more happy now’. There is so much I can access with Y Sort It, I only wish I had known about it sooner as the support I get now would have really helped me in the past. I am really grateful for the help Y Sort It gives me and more people should get involved’.
Although I provide this caring role for both my Dad and my Mum I myself have to deal with my own health issues. Last year I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Managing this along with managing my caring role can sometimes take its toll on me and I can find things quite stressful, because of this my attendance at school dropped.
I was first introduced to Y Sort It after my social worker told me about a service for Young Carer’s. On my first night to the group I was very nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect but I was made to feel very welcome and everyone was very friendly. I quickly became more confident within the group and was offered the chance to go on a trip with the group to a boxing match. I remember being very nervous at this trip as I was in amongst new people and I struggle with big crowds. I was very anxious beforehand and had myself quite worked up about going, however once I was there I loved it and managed to relax and enjoy myself.
Building on this experience I decided to go on the Young Carer’s October residential to Aviemore. This was a 4 day trip away and I had never been away from my caring role for this long. My Dad was pleased that I was going as he had spoken to me about how he did not feel it was fair that I was under pressure at such a young age and that I deserved a break away. The trip was fantastic and I got to meet lots of new people and gain lots of new experiences. When I look back from when I first came to the group up until what I have achieved now it amazes me how much my confidence has grown and how less anxious I am about trying new things and meeting new people.
As well as group work I also access 121 support within the service. I enjoy having someone to talk to outwith my parents and my teachers and although this is often just a relaxed chat about how I am getting on in my caring role it is nice to know there is a support there for me if something does turn up. I hope to continue to access the Y Sort It Young Carer’s Service in the future and continue to reap the benefits it offers me.
I mainly help my mum by helping out with the housework, going shopping, making dinners and helping to look after my younger brothers and sisters. Due to my Mum’s condition she is often very tired and with my sister at college now I have quite a large responsibility within my caring role. This on top of the struggles of moving to a completely new country and new culture can be very stressful and confusing at times.
When I was first introduced to Y Sort It I had no idea what a Young Carer was never mind realising that I was one myself. With the help of the Y Sort It staff I learned that I was a Young Carer was told of the service Y Sort It offered. This has allowed me to realise there is support and help there if I need it which is very reassuring.
I first attended the Young Carer’s Group in Y Sort It in October 2016 along with my siblings. This was a nerve racking experience as I did not know anyone there and it was difficult to understand what was happening. As I attend more groups I am beginning to become more confident in the group setting and I am enjoying taking part in the activities.
Y sort It Young Carers has been really important in helping me to settle into life in Scotland and has made me feel very welcome here. It is nice to know that there is someone there to support me if I need help and to allow me some time out of the house to relax, have fun and enjoy myself. I hope to continue to become more confident within the groups at Y Sort It and will continue to regularly attend groups & respite day trips; this will hopefully give me the confidence to feel comfortable enough to access an overnight respite trip in the future. All this support is overwhelming and is helping greatly towards settling me into life in this new country.
What Y Sort it Young Carers has learnedWe have learned that harder to reach young people are often more readily accessible when you are able to take into account the personal challenges that they face. More often than not the hard to reach Young Carers identified as having high anxiety when it came to large groups of people and new situations.
The funding has allowed us to provide respite opportunities to smaller groups of new Young Carers, offering a wide range of day trip activities closer to home. This then reduced any anxieties they had about leaving the person/s they care for at home.
As previously described in last years report "Young Carers are often held back by the fear of leaving the people that they care for. The thought of a two night residential trip was too much for many of them. However by introducing them to shorter day trips, giving them the opportunity to build relationships with other Young Carers and staff and then gradually working up to one overnight stay many now feel able to at least consider a two night residential trip away".
Through time and with consistently engaging in those shorter respite and group work opportunities, twenty four young people felt comfortable enough to leave their cared for person and embark on a three night/four day respite trip, allowing them to grow more confident feel less stressed, reduced isolation and form new friendships.
We have managed to attract new Young Carers through our primary schools by offering a wide range of respite opportunities, having this advantage has gave them the confidence to access activities knowing it would be small groups of young people of a similar age to themselves.