The Young Adult Carers (YACs) Groups are monthly evening groups for carers aged 17 to 25 years.

Run by carer support workers, the groups are split into two sessions. The first half is structured and includes a workshop, a talk, or feedback and consultation opportunities. The second hour allows the carers to relax, chat with each other, or talk to a support worker.

Care for the Carers spoke to four young adult carers about their experience of caring and how the group has helped them.

Young adult carer, Sophie, cared for her mum who sadly passed away three years ago, and now cares for her younger brother who has autism. Talking about her caring role, she said: “It can be very difficult and very challenging, but it is part of my everyday life and I’ve just grown around it now.”

 Sophie explained why coming to the group is so important. “It’s the support that you get, it makes us feel normal. Maybe it’s the wrong term to use, but it makes us feel normal coming to these clubs and getting this support and knowing that we’re not the only one in this situation,” she said.

Sammie, Sophie’s friend, agrees. She told Care for the Carers that it’s “great” coming to a place where “you can forget about everything for a couple of hours” and where everyone “is in the same boat.”

Sammie, who has been caring for her mum who has multiple health issues since she was four-years-old, said the group is “like one big family”.  

 As well as the monthly meetings, the young adult carers also take part in range of fun activities, such as going to Go Ape or Go Karting, and they have a closed Facebook group.

Talking about the Facebook group, Sammie said: “We talk on messenger and have a joke and a laugh. It’s nice because when you’re talking in the group it’s like your still here and it takes your mind off of it all for a few seconds while you’re reading a comment or writing a message. It is a lot of fun.”

It’s the monthly meet-ups, however, they say they love the most because it provides a regular break from their caring role and a chance to relax and have fun.

Jordan F, who cares for his mum who has MS, said: “What people don’t understand is, that for us, for people that are caring, [this group] means a hell of a lot, on an emotional level. This break is for us a holiday, two hours, that’s it, but we can’t afford to go to Spain or anything for a decent holiday, so to us this is a holiday – it’s the greatest two hours.” 

Another member of group, Jordan D, found out about the group after telling his childhood friend Jordan F about how he is a carer for his Nan.

 He said: “I’d rather have kept it to myself but I am glad I told him because [the group] has been a massive help. I struggle with it to be honest with you. My Nan she’s very, very ill and she struggles with everything and it’s a massive toll on my life but I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s what I have been doing for nearly my whole life, looking after her, checking she’s alright. But this place has definitely helped me out a lot.”