Young Carers Matter

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  • About the Project

    ‘Young Carers Matter’ was an innovative community-led project that boosted the employability of hundreds of young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young carers in the borough of Southwark. It was funded under the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government Communities Fund (formerly the Department of Communities and Local Government) and was delivered by the IARS International Institute, a Southwark-based charity in partnership with Southwark Council. The project aimed to provide tailored services to marginalised young carers from BAME backgrounds to break the barriers to employment and career development. To achieve this objective, the project adopted IARS’s youth- led methodology that empowers youth to manage, deliver and monitor its outcomes. Over a period of 12 months, the project:

    • created a network of Southwark Council, local service providers (private, voluntary and public sectors) and employers.
    • provided accredited training to 100 local BAME young carers
    • provided youth-led, CPD accredited training to 200 local stakeholders
    • spread information to at least 5,000 relevant stakeholders nationally.

    The project was guided by an Independent Youth Advisory Board consisting of 10 young carers.

    The project completed in March 2018

  • Project Background

    "Young Carers Matter" was built upon the findings of a 2-year Erasmus+ funded project titled Care 2 Work (C2W) . Over the last 2 years, the Institute implemented Care2Work aiming to tackle the barriers faced by young carers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) when accessing employment, education and training. The project was supported by Erasmus+ (Key Action 2), and was delivered in partnership with three European Partners namely  Anziani e Non Solo (Italy), Linnaeus University  (Sweden)  and the Family and Children Care Centre (Greece). The IARS International Institute acted as the programme coordinator. The project's results include a comparative e-publication titled "Tearing Down Barriers to Employment & Education for Young, Black and Minority Carers,” as well as face to face and online courses  that aiming to increase professionals' awareness of the needs and skills of young carers and empowerment and skills development  training for young people. More info about this project can be found

  • Project Updates

    The project culminated in a conference for carers, professionals and employers in Canada Water Library where pathways to support young carers into employment were discussed.  Youth unemployment in Southwark and generally continues to be a key issue for young people, councils and employers alike.  This is especially true for those young people from BAME communities and even more so for young people who are carers.  There continues to be unequal opportunity of access to the labour market and education for young carers and this conference sets out to identify ways to reduce this inequality.  Focusing on young carers from Southwark, one of the most marginalised groups in London, the conference will explore youth-led solutions to unemployment with the ultimate objective of brining barriers down and informing local policy and practice.

    Bringing together young people, policy makers, practitioners, employers, researchers and academics, the conference presented cutting edge research and debate about youth-led initiatives locally from in the borough and wider afield from across the EU.  The conference proceedings will contribute to reforms required to better support young people into work, training and further education.  Speakers included Laura Bennett from The Carers Trust, who talked through some of the many initiatives spearheaded by the trust to support young carers into employment.  Richard Davis-Lyons (Working Chance) talked about the role their agency plays in finding opportunities for young carers to gain employment.  Not only do they provide practical opportunities, they can support young carers seeking employment with mental health support and and training.  Aristote Diamos (West Ham FC Communities Trust) [pictured centre] discussed the role of sport in helping young carers gain in confidence and improve their job chances.  West Ham provide training programmes to support young carers with accountancy training, delivering real practical skills to the local community.  Jamal Miah (OneMiah Solutions) gave the conference a practical demonstration of how young carers are motivated to gain the confidence to apply for jobs and interviews.

    After lunch, Olivia May (Programme Manager, Good People) led a discussion about the challenges employers face when employing young carers and the day was wrapped up by Emma Dovener (Young Carers in Schools, The Children’s Society)
    who talked about their work in supporting young carers with employment.

Funded by Communities Fund of the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government