Young Carers Awareness Day takes place on Thursday 31 January – a day to recognise the growing population of young carers in the UK and the challenges they face caring for their sick family members - 24 hours a day – a sobering thought for all of us.
There are around 10,000 young carers in the UK between the ages of 5 – 7 years who play a pivotal role in supporting their families and loved ones and make an invaluable contribution, unpaid, to our society and economy.
Forward thinking charity ellenor provides hospice care for people of all ages in their place of choice. They deliver training for healthcare professionals, ensuring that everyone approaching the end of life has access to the highest quality care and support. They also support young people with a programme of courses, hoping to attract a new diverse generation of people interested in a career in care.
Three years ago, ellenor recognised that more needs to be done to support and train future healthcare professionals and young carers; and set up a bespoke placement ‘Explore a Career in Care’ for young people aged 17 – 19 years based at the hospice in Gravesend. The six month placement offers a range of theoretical and practical programs with all students being supported by a dedicated mentor who has plenty of experience within healthcare. By being part of this programme it enables the students to be given a unique insight into a career in the care profession and an opportunity to see how rewarding as a career path it can be.
ellenor Training Facilitator Sue Marshall says: “Education is at the heart of ellenor’s vision and mission to promote and provide hospice care of the highest standards to all those in need. We are committed to youth education and constantly look for innovative ways to encourage young people to consider a career in healthcare.
‘Explore a Career in Care’ gives an insight into the structure and function of a hospice and a valuable insight into holistic care. They will have acquired knowledge and skills that can be used across a range of settings; we are hoping that the course will make them consider a career in the medical profession but also to share the knowledge they have gained to others in all walks of life”.
Daniel Page, aged 17 years enrolled in the ellenor Care Certificate programme to gain healthcare knowledge and skills. After completion of his training last year, he decided to stay on as a care volunteer and has applied to study medicine at university.
He says: “As a young carer, I support the nursing staff as well as providing care and support to patients and their families. For example, a wife with her eight year old son had been at her dying husband’s bedside for days and when he was nearing the end of his life, she asked if I could take her eight year old son away so she could spend the final moment with him. Stepping away from a difficult situation and distracting him by playing on the Nintendo Wii, made me realise the impact illness has on a young carer looking after a sick family member”.
These young adults could be your future nurses and doctors and ellenor is privileged to have been able to help shape their future career decision making.
To find out more about our free courses, please contact a member of the Education Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01474 320007