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Posted on: 05/12/2019

Chelmer Valley wins Award for Young Carer Support

December 2019

We are pleased to announce that Chelmer has been awarded the Young Carers in Schools Bronze Award. The Young Carers in Schools programme helps primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the Young Carers in Schools Award

“To achieve their Bronze Award Chelmer Valley High School has demonstrated that it supports young carers in many ways, including homework clubs and drop-in sessions with a member of staff who is responsible for this vulnerable group of pupils.  Vital information about how to identify young carers is made available to all school staff and noticeboards and the school webpage let students and their families know where to go for help”.

Mrs Tracey Byrne, our Student Mentor and Young Carer Operational Lead said, “Ten years ago I had the pleasure of becoming involved with young carers.  It was an absolute honour to be accepted into their group and be able to help support them.  It was a real eye opener to see how many young people care for family members, both physically and mentally.  Most young carers are not identified within school as they just get on with things, a lot do not even realise they are young carers, as they have done it for so long, it’s just part of their everyday life.  In my eyes, they are all unsung heroes. 

Chloe in Year 9 said, “I find it helpful having people inside of school knowing about my brother because then I know that I don’t have to worry about keeping it to myself. Tracey in school will sit down with me, check if I am okay, and to see how people at home are and how I am managing. It does get difficult at home, but school makes me happy and gets me through rough times.”

Natasha in Year 7 said, “I think Young Carers is a good idea because if you have any problems at home and you can’t talk to your mum, dads, grandads and nans, you can talk to people in school. Also young carers is a club, so there’s more than one person and you can make more friends and you know you’re not alone, others in school are going through the same thing as you. The activities to do are fun and it can take your mind off things.”

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. The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could be closer to 700,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 12 school children many of whom are unrecognised and unsupported.

Pictured with some of our Young Carers L-R, Mrs Melissa Piper, Pastoral Manager and Lead Governor for Young Carers. Mrs Tracey Byrne, Student Mentor and Young Carer Operational Lead and Mr Adam Bluck, Assistant Head and Young Carer Senior Leadership 


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