My Time For Young Carers is a charity providing fun activities for young carers aged between 7 and 16 who live in and around Epsom and Ewell, and Mole Valley.
Our aim is to provide fun activities for children and young people whose lives are made difficult because of the physical or mental ill health of family members. At our sessions, members can forget their troubles, meet other young carers and have a great time. It’s all free – fun, food and transport.
What is a Young Carer?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ definition of a Young Carer.
Some young carers provide personal care for the cared-for family member. They might even have to make sure that mum and/or dad take their medication. Some are responsible for the bulk of the shopping, cooking and cleaning at home. Many young carers look after siblings and take on a parental role – getting their brothers and sisters ready for school, keeping them quiet if needs be and helping with homework. Living with brothers or sisters who have developmental problems is hard and siblings can lose out on quality time with their parents, as well as sleep and rest.
It is a well-known fact that young carers are less likely to achieve their potential. At school they are often bullied, have trouble with studying and getting homework done and find it difficult making friends. It’s hard taking friends home if mum and/or dad aren’t well, your brother or sister is likely to have an episode or you have too many chores waiting for you. There’s so much stress involved. It’s not just about the present situation; worrying about the future also takes its toll.
We believe that any child or young person becomes a carer when they are put in a situation in which they feel the need to protect or support another family member. Too often these young people go unrecognised. At My Time we describe these young people as being almost invisible – a sad situation that needs to be changed.
If you know a young carer or are a young carer yourself who would enjoy My Time membership, please contact us and we’ll get back to you quickly. Don’t forget to get permission from a parent or guardian first.
My Time was set up in 2012 and achieved charitable status in 2014. Run by a committed team of volunteers, with a paid part-time Project Co-ordinator and Session Leaders, our strength is in the support from members of the community. People are our greatest resource. Our volunteers and the financial help from local groups and individuals make My Time activities possible.
At our first monthly session in Ewell in 2012, eight young carers turned up with eight volunteers. We now have approximately 80 members registered with us and some forty volunteers, along with nine student volunteers, who help in the four groups – Dorking and Ewell for the seven to eleven year olds and Dorking, Fetcham and Stoneleigh for young carers aged twelve to sixteen.