On Wednesday 13 September, Alexandra (Year 10) had the privilege to be invited to London to meet with the Children’s Commissioner and several MPs as part of the government’s APPG* inquiry into life opportunities for young carers.
As a young carer, Alexandra helps to look after her younger brother who has epilepsy, autism, and ADHD as well as developmental delay. Whilst she loves to help out at home, it can be challenging to manage caring with schoolwork as well as being able to go out and see friends.
For the past six months Alexandra has been a youth ambassador for the inquiry and this was the first time she got to meet in person with people in positions of power that had the ability to make lasting change.
In the morning, four young carers including Alexandra were part of a round table at the Department of Education with the Children’s Commissioner and heads of multi-academy trusts. They shared their personal experiences of balancing school with caring and discussed ways to increase awareness and support within schools. This was leading on from the first ever inclusion of young carers to the school census in January 2023. It is thought that there are around one million young carers throughout the UK, but many remain unidentified and without the necessary support due to a lack of awareness.
In the afternoon, the group made their way over to the Houses of Parliament to share similar experiences with several MPs as well as Lord Young of Cookham.
I had a very insightful day and it was great to see all the progress being made to help young carers across the country. I am looking forward to returning to Parliament on the 14 November for the official launch of the inquiry.
Alexandra - Year 10
*All-Party Parliamentary Group