A local community arts organisation has been working with young carers from across Fife to provide a platform to discuss their issues and concerns.
Over the past month, Buckhaven Beehive has hosted a drama project with the Fife Young Carers (FYC) group, which was set up to provide support to young people aged eight to 18.
Thanks to funding from the Beehive, the FYC group and Fife Cultural Partnerships Team, a series of Sunday sessions were held at the Beehive which provided the young people the opportunity to discuss and identify the main issues facing them.
These included the need for more support workers and respite opportunities, the need for more time during the school curriculum for ‘homework’, and a need for responsible adults, such as youth workers and teachers, to have a greater understanding of what it means to be a young carer.
The participating group also indentified a need for themselves, and other young carers in Fife, to be listened to as individuals, not simply as ‘Young Carers’.
At its final session, the group presented its day to day issues to family members, support works and reprentatives from the funding bodies.
Blair Denwette from the Beehive, said: “These young people provide a very valuable service within the community and take on a caring role which changes the dynamic of their childhood years quite dramatically.”
Following the final session, those from the various support agencies involved agreed to discuss with colleagues how they would respond to the needs identified by the young carers, and a second session will be held in April to discuss the findings.
David Torrance MSP, who attended the event, said: “I felt privileged to attend this presentation which highlighted the emotional issues faced by young carers today.
‘‘Young carers, in whatever capacity, face many difficulties and challenges in supporting family members and the role they assume, although invaluable, undoubtedly impacts significantly on their childhood years.
“I am glad that they are being given opportunities to make their voices heard in many different ways and I will continue to support them in any way I can to help address their concerns.”