A YORK charity has been working with the city’s schools to highlight the challenges faced by young carers.

York Carers Centre is part of a national drive to support young people who look after a loved one.

Research has shown that more than one third of young people aged 11 to 18 who give up time to care for someone they live with experience problems with their mental wellbeing.

In York, young people with caring responsibilities have told the charity how they can be burdened with worry, with one young person saying “I worry about my mum dying, I worry about her while I am at school”. Another has explained how they are concerned about upcoming exams.

Carole Zagrovic, chief executive of York Carers Centre, said: “We are determined to raise awareness of young carers by working with schools and the community to promote this national initiative throughout York, to ensure young carers are identified and have the support they need to thrive and grow as children.

“The role of young carers often goes unnoticed. Taking on a caring role may affect a young person's education and enjoyment of their childhood. The worry, stress and complexity of caring for someone close, exacerbated by being unable to attend or achieve well at school, feeling lonely and isolated, can lead to early mental ill health and problems affecting them through to adulthood.”

To mark Young Carers Awareness Day last month, York Carers Centre worked with schools including Millthorpe School, which marked the day with assemblies and an awareness stall.

Millthorpe is currently working towards the Young Carers in Schools gold level award.

York Carers Centre offers a range of group activities and one-to-one support to children who are aged five to 18 years.

For more information on how to access local carer support visit the York Carers Centre website www.yorkcarerscentre.co.uk. Alternatively, call 01904 715490