At the UKYP Regional meeting last weekend in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, Harry led a group discussion on the Young Carers Campaign so far, and encouraged MYPs to join the campaign.
The Young Carers Campaign is part of Harry’s continuing policy to provide support for those young people who dedicate their time to looking after a disabled relative or friend. Because of the stress and strain this can put on a young person, Harry and his Youth Parliament colleagues are working to create a card which can be carried by Young Carers to identify themselves to schools and education centres. This card, Harry believes would legitimise a young carer’s (at present) unrewarded role and allow them to be given extra-time on deadlines and extra support in the classroom. Harry believes a young person’s education should not be forced to suffer because of the amazing work they do at home, caring for another.
At the Regional meeting, Harry updated MYPs about the card’s progress and implementation in Calderdale and Kirklees. In discussions, Harry and the MYPs made several key decisions:
- Funding for the card ought to be sought locally, from charities, sponsors and businesses.
- Design for these cards should come locally, as has happened in Kirklees and Calderdale. The City Council implementing them as well as Young Carers’ Groups should be represented on the design.
- The Youth Parliament should continue to lobby MPs to support the Carers (Identity and Support) Bill in parliament.
- Cards and eligibility criteria should be approved by Young Carers projects.
The discussion ended with a task for MYPs to in their own time assess potential problems, such as loss or expiration of a card, and how these problems could be solved.
Harry is now preparing for the next stage of the campaign, ensuring its reselection by MYPs at the UKYP Residential happening in March. As one of the MYPs planning this residential, Harry hopes he will be successful in recruiting many of the new members to the campaign.