Young Carers in Focus – an important project to which FI contributes

17 April 2014

Young Carers in Focus (YCiF) is an exciting opportunity for young carers to feel empowered and supported to have a say about their lives and facilitate change at a Local and National level. YCiF is a 4 year England wide programme funded by The Big Lottery Fund, being delivered by The Children’s Society, in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute along with DigitalME, YMCA Fairthorne Manor and Rethink Mental Illness.

The programme is led and informed by young carers themselves. The key aim is to ensure that participating young carers will have improved resilience, confidence, skills and knowledge, improving their wellbeing and quality of life particularly during key educational transition points to independence. The Fatherhood Institute is supporting the programme with research, training and guidance for young carers’ project workers, as well as providing opportunities for young carers to reflect on fathers and fatherhood in their own families.

Over the course of the programme, the YCiF team will work directly with over 200 Young Carer Champions across England to deliver this aim, as well as reaching out to all young carers across the country through Makewaves, a safe social networking site.

Champions will be supported to raise public awareness and promote positive attitudes towards young carers, family illness and disability and to influence local and national systems to deliver support through standardised identification, whole family assessment and services to reduce the number of families relying on children to provide inappropriate levels of care.

Champions start by attending one of the initial Champions Training Conferences which are:

Friday 30th May – Saturday 31st May at Kingswood Centre, Grosvenor Hall, Kennington, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4AJ.

Friday 18th July – Saturday 19th July at Kingswood Centre, Dearne Valley, Denaby Main, Doncaster DN12 4EA.

(Please note, all accommodation, food, and travel are paid for by us for both the young people and staff member attending. This is a training event not an activity-based residential.)

The Conference will include workshops and sessions to enable the Champions to not only build self-esteem and confidence but will equip them with skills around media, leadership, relaxation, and interviewing. We ask that a minimum of one project worker/service worker attend with their champions to support them.

If you have any young people aged 10-25 who you believe would benefit from becoming a young carers champion, and who are passionate about getting their voice heard then please contact Luella Moody, Participation Worker on 01962 711511 or email  We offer places for 3-4 champions per project/service as we require a geographical spread across England.


MAKEWAVES-Young Carers in Focus Network

The Young Carers in Focus network will provide a safe, moderated space for young carers to use to communicate, share their stories and campaign for the things that matter most to them.

If you would like to join our network, you can create a site on Makewaves for your Young Carers Project/Service and encourage your young people to create user accounts, which they can use to publish text, photos, audio and video, and connect with other young carers across the UK. You and your colleagues will act as publishers, to manage your site and check content before it goes live. The privacy settings available on Makewaves allow you to decide whether content can be seen by the world, just the YCiF network, or even just your project. This means that you can even use the network to discuss sessions and events just with your young people in a safe manner.

The YCiF programme partners will use the network to communicate to you and your young people with project news, online activities and debates for your group to get involved in, and exciting opportunities such as training, residentials and events. We’ll also use the network to recruit our team of Young Carer Champions and share useful resources for young carers from all the programme partners.

You can apply to join here. The Makewaves team will then call your project/service to verify your registration, and once approved, you can begin using your site to get involved in this exciting project.

Once you as a project/service worker have registered – your young carers can then join the make waves ‘site’ you have created upon joining (Usually your project/service name). We hope this safe network will provide young carers with a space where they can feel comfortable sharing their views and stories with others in similar situations, but also a public platform through which they can get their voices heard by those who can make a difference to their lives. We hope you will join us and look forward to involving your project/service in YCiF!

Please Note: If you need any more help or guidance visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.




Tags: ,