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Airing Pain 66: Not a Burden

The chal­lenges fac­ing young peo­ple in car­ing roles and ways to sup­port them

This edi­tion is fund­ed by a grant from the Dorothy Howard Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

Friends don’t always under­stand, they don’t get out much and they’re faced with daunt­ing respon­si­bil­i­ties, but they wouldn’t change a thing about their fam­i­lies. So say the young peo­ple Paul Evans meets at a sup­port day for car­ers in south east Wales.

There are 178,000 young car­ers in Eng­land and Wales doing unpaid work for par­ents too ill to per­form essen­tial house­hold tasks or even look after them­selves. Ker­ris Olsen-Jones, who works to sup­port these chil­dren and young peo­ple – some as young as five years old – says that they some­times ‘miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be chil­dren’. She and her col­leagues help the young peo­ple to socialise and make the most of the oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able to them.

How­ev­er, many young car­ers do not see them­selves as car­ers, so may not get access to sup­port. Ethan Mason, who cares for his moth­er who has fibromyal­gia, describes how as an ado­les­cent he had to deal with a house fire alone, while fire safe­ty offi­cer Julie Good­field gives fire pre­ven­tion tips for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and their carers.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Young car­ers, friends, rela­tion­ships, fam­i­ly, chil­dren and young peo­ple, fibromyal­gia, fire safe­ty, depres­sion, men­tal health, peer sup­port and mul­ti­ple sclerosis.


  • Adri­an, Amy, Court­ney, Emma, Ethan, Leon, Sophie, Tom, young carers
  • Ker­ris OIsen-Jones, Young Adult Car­er Devel­op­ment Worker
  • DJ, Young Adult Car­er Sup­port Worker
  • Julie Good­field, Fire Safe­ty Officer.

More infor­ma­tion:

  • More infor­ma­tion on sup­port for young car­ers can be found at
  • Vis­it our resources on Fam­i­lies and Chil­dren to lis­ten to more Air­ing Pain pro­grammes on this top­ic and find out more about the help avail­able across the UK.


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