Young Carers Action Day 2024 is on Wednesday 13th March and the theme is fair futures for young carers. The day will focus on building a more equal future for young carers and removing barriers that many of their peers do not face.

Our Young Carers Notts team have supported dozens of unpaid young carers in Nottinghamshire since launching last Autumn.

Nottinghamshire County Council data shows there are 5,562 carers under the age of 25 and there are estimated to be 1 million young carers in the UK.

The Young Carers Notts team help young people in the area to get information, help and advice relating to their care role. The team also run a wide range of activities for young people, including arts and crafts, outdoor activities, cinema trips, group sessions, short breaks, and social sessions with other young carers.

Key to the service is proving young carers with the chance to have a break and have fun in a safe, welcoming, and fun environment.

We are proud to support Young Carers Action Day and will share stories and feedback from young carers that we support throughout the day. You can read local young carers Zac and Romany's stories below.

Zac's Story

Zac (right) with his brother Jacob

Mansfield-based Zac is nine years old. He has helped to care for his brother, Jacob, since he was five. 

Aged just two, Jacob fell poorly suddenly. A twisted small bowel and sepsis led to Jacob ending up losing all but 5cm of his small bowel. 18 months later, Jacob had a successful bowel transplant. Now seven, Jacob is doing well, and the transplant has been successful. He has a programme of medication that he needs to follow every day alongside a strict diet. Zac helps Jacob to keep up with his medication and diet in school, at events, and during days out.

Zac’s mum, Louise, explains how he helps his brother: “Leading up to and after Jacob’s transplant, Zac was amazing – he provided emotional support to Jacob, chatting to him and holding his hand during blood tests or when he was having his stoma bag seen to. At school he keeps an eye on what his brother is eating and drinking and when they visit their grandmother, Zac knows what medication Jacob needs and when, and what he shouldn’t eat, even if he wants to! In many ways he is Jacob’s voice. He’s taken on that responsibility for his little brother.

“Young Carers Notts gives Zac the chance to be himself and be around other kids, having fun. Since he’s started using the service, he’s definitely more positive in himself, and that’s massive. He knows how much he is valued at home, and I want to make sure he has the chance to do the things most nine-year-olds get to do.”

Romany's story

Romany with her dad

Romany, 12, cares for her dad who has a terminal illness.

Her care role has changed and adapted over time, and she supports the whole family with day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning, and walking the dog along with helping her dad.

Romany helps her dad shower, get dressed and administers his medication. It’s a daily juggling act alongside her school life and the pressures that come with that.

Romany’s mum, Jody, says without Romany’s help, the family would be ‘totally lost’: “It’s been a tough time. Romany’s dad’s illness has been tough on all of us and there are times when my mental health goes downhill – that’s when Romany really steps up and takes on the extra responsibility which I know is tough on her. She has her schoolwork and I know she’s missing out on seeing her friends and a social life. She is an adult in a child’s body really.

“But the Young Carers Notts service has been amazing. She loves attending the events they put on as it’s a chance for her to just be a child and have time for herself for a few hours. She has made a couple of good friends there too – other young people who are carers. It’s a great service.”