January 27th, 2017

We recently marked Young Carers’ Awareness Day, celebrating the estimated 700,000 young people who selflessly care for their sick or disabled parents, siblings, or other relatives. All too often, there’s no support, recognition or training for the huge responsibilities and tasks these young people take on.

1 in 20 young carers will miss school because of their caring role and many are socially isolated, bullied, and have mental health issues. But what happens to young carers when they grow up? This question is the forming force behind Move On Up, Quaker Social Action’s newest project. Like many of our other projects, Move On Up is unique in how specific it is in its scope to tackle an issue – no one else is supporting members of what are all too frequently seen as a fringe group, and this is the only housing option specifically tailored to the needs of young adult carers.

We've spent two years listening to young adult carers and the organisations that work with them and we've learned that they face a real risk of homelessness. A quarter of young adult carers are not in education, employment or training. Leaving home and moving on in the world can be a real challenge for this group. The proliferation of sky-high rents is only a part of the equation, along with the additional worry of the care needs of their family member. With their peers moving out and taking the ‘next steps’, there can be a feeling of being left behind. They may begin to feel trapped in the family home, and increasingly resentful of the demands placed upon them whilst their peers seem to thrive in less stressful situations.

That’s why, in collaboration with Commonweal Housing, Quaker Homeless Action and Carers Trust, we’re launching this new and exciting project. In 2017, Quaker Social Action is going to house a small group of young adult carers aged 18-24 in east London, but it won’t stop there. We’ll be with them on their journey, offering a package of support that understands the challenges they face. We want to discover if providing supported housing for young adult carers will help them create the building blocks for a successful transition into adult life.

The driving ethos is based on seeing the great potential in every young person and enabling them to make the most of their present and future.

To find out some more information on Move On Up, or if you or someone you know is a young adult carer and would like to get involved with the project, please email jonscarth@qsa.org.uk