Shrewsbury Academy has been awarded the first Young Carers in Schools Award in Shropshire with support from Crossroads Together, part of TuVida.

The school were awarded the Bronze Young Carers in Schools Award for their work to ensure students don’t miss out on an education because they are young carers.

Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue. There are said to be around 800,000 young carers in England alone, this is equivalent to one in five secondary aged school children many of whom are unrecognised and unsupported.

The Young Carers in Schools programme helps primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the award.

Julie Johnson, Shrewsbury Academy Head Teacher, said: “This award is recognition of our young carers who carry out an incredible role supporting family members alongside maintaining their education. The dedication of these incredible students often goes unrecognised. We feel strongly at Shrewsbury Academy that we want to recognise, support and celebrate our fantastic young carers by raising awareness and encouraging them to feel proud of their compassionate role.”

Brodie, a young carer attending the Shrewsbury Academy, said: “Staff are kind and supportive, give extra time for homework and there’s always someone to talk to. We have a safe space to go which is called Raise.”

Shrewsbury Academy demonstrated its support for young carers in many ways, including running drop-in sessions for young carers. Vital information about how to identify young carers is available to all school staff, and noticeboards and the school webpage let students and their families know where to go for help. Shrewsbury Academy were supported by staff from Crossroads Together Young Carers in Schools team which is part of TuVida.

Photo (left – right): Young carers Brodie and Louie, Anita Foster from TuVida, Shrewsbury Academy Head Teacher, Julie Johnson, and young carer Keeley.