Sandwell’s Young Carers Forum

Throughout the history of Sandwell Young Carers the organisation has supported our members in forming various workshops and committees to assist in the development of the organisation and evaluation of the services we offer.

During 2010 the organisation assisted the members in setting up a Forum whose role was not only to assist in the development of the organisation, but to influence change for young carers locally and nationally.

The team of 14 young carers aged between 10-17 years of age, assisted by 2 ex-members, set out on a journey to make a real difference for the many hidden young carers living in Sandwell. This journey saw them;

  • Meet with all 4 of Sandwell’s MPs at the House of Commons to discuss life as a young carer living in Sandwell
  • Assist the Children & Young People Scrutiny Team in exploring how services in Sandwell identify and address the needs of young carers
  • Meet with the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Director of People, and Procurement Manager to share their fears for the future of young carers in Sandwell
  • Work in partnership with the Commissioner for Young Carers on organising and hosting the biggest consultation with young carers in our borough
  • Constructively challenge the adult content of the Young Carers Strategy, later to become the Young Carers Strategic Statement for Sandwell Young Carers
  • Meet with the current Young Carers Commissioner to look at the Young Carers In-Depth Assessment (element of emergency planning)

The Forum has been equally committed to the organisation during this period and evidenced this with their hands on approach to creating a sustainable future for Sandwell Young Carers…

  • Appointment of a Forum member onto Sandwell Young Carers Board of Directors
  • Raising funds by organising and participating in a sponsored walk and arranging numerous charity gigs
  • Participating in a Poetry Workshop to compile poems for the sale of a book to raise funds
  • Hosting the launch of the Poetry book
  • Hosting a ‘Thank You Event’ for our supporters, presenting certificates
  • Setting up of Fundraising Committee and writing to local retails for help

The Forum has set and met many targets along the way to assist with the organisation’s sustainability plan.

“The forum has also done a number of things to help change the centre in the way we think is needed. We helped with cost cutting in Sandwell Young Carers; reducing transport, cutting out buffets at the parties, and changing the staffing. We also set up a fundraising group so we could help to raise money for the organisation. We also took part in the business planning of SYC; putting forward our views, thoughts and expectations of how SYC should be run. We also chose the colour schemes for when the centre got redecorated”.  

The Chairman of Sandwell’s Young Carers Forum.

Although the membership of the Forum has changed during this period the commitment has remained the same and together their achievements have been many, to name but a few…

  • The appointment of one of our Forum members onto Sandwell’s Youth Parliament
  • The Forum being runners up to the Young Carers Star Award 2012
  • One of our Forum members winning the Young Carers Star Award 2012
  • One of our Forum members receiving the Young Carers Star Award 2013

With the ongoing commitment and partnership alliance of Sandwell’s Young Carers Forum and Sandwell Young Carers, the organisation will continue to develop it services to meet the needs of the 2000+ hidden young carers living in Sandwell.

Please click the image below to view a copy of the Sandwell Young Carers' Forum Report for 2015/2016