Anglia Ruskin University team to study young carers and their duties

Posted: 15th January 2024

Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) are to investigate how caring duties affect the education and wellbeing of young carers.

The university, which has campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough, has secured £300,000 for the project.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show about one in 10 people aged between 16 and 30 provide informal care.

Charities hope the study will lead to better support for young carers.

The university has teamed up on the project, called InterCare, with the Universität Frankfurt am Main, Hochschule Niederrhein and Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Prof Marie-Pierre Moreau, the project leader at ARU and one of the InterCare co-investigators, said: “This a huge societal issue but it’s an area that has long been ignored.

“As our population ages, more and more students will find themselves balancing their studies with caring responsibilities.

“The InterCare project will address this by looking at three countries with different approaches to social welfare and higher education: Germany, Poland and the UK.

“The research will involve national surveys, which is crucial to helping us tackle some of these research gaps.”

Prof Moreau added: “InterCare aims to raise awareness of the situation, highlighting the challenges and benefits of intergenerational care arrangements.

“Many young people are not receiving the support they need and deserve, and we hope the results from this research will help to improve the lives of young people and older care recipients both here in the UK and across Europe.”

The BBC has spoken to a number of young carers about their responsibilities and the impact it has on their education.

Young carer Kerri Foster, for example, lives in Basildon and desperately wants to go to university to study design.

Speaking previously to the BBC Miss Foster, who helps care for her parents, said her family cannot afford for her to go to university.

“It is not really feasible for me at the moment,” she said.

She said she would reassess whether or not she could go to university in a couple of years’ time.

Rachel Tungate, the founder of the Essex-based charity Kool Carers, said: “Since founding Kool Carers in 2018, we have seen first hand the truly devastating impact caring can have on the health, education and life experiences of young carers and young adult carers.

“As a result of the pandemic a high number of young people that we support have seen an increase in their caring responsibilities, with many now caring for more than one family member.

“Consequently, they have less time to focus on their education and even less time to be with friends and socialise.

“For many, caring detrimentally impacts on their health and wellbeing and heightens feelings of isolation and hopelessness.

“Tragically, many young carers and young adult carers, through no fault of their own, face an uncertain future, with many unable to realise their aspirations or meet their full potential.”

She said she hoped the study would provide potential solutions that could benefit young carers.

Source: Anglia Ruskin University team to study young carers and their duties – BBC News

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