Gloucestershire Young Carers is a charity that was established in 1993 to give
young carers in the county a voice and a network of support. Young carers are
children and young people who have a caring responsibility for a family member
with a disability, physical or mental ill health or who is affected by substance
At present Gloucestershire Young Carers offers support to young carers from 8 to
25 years of age, but has had referrals for children as young as 5. The aim of the
charity is twofold:
1. To create a network of support for young carers across the county.
2. To work with young carers to ensure that service providers understand their
needs and respond appropriately.
Many young carers are isolated - unable to enjoy opportunities to take a break
from their caring role. Many of them have no one to talk to about their experiences.
Many of them are overlooked by the agencies that enter their home to help their
They aim to put the 'young' back in Young Carer by not only providing activity
groups in their locality where they can drop in to have fun, but also by providing
transport to get our young carers to groups.
The core services they offer are:
1.Young Carers Groups - Local social and leisure groups where young carers can
have fun, meet with other young people in similar situations and have the support
of trained youth workers and play leaders.
2. Day Trips and Residentials - Fun days out and the chance to try new
experiences, develop social skills and increase self esteem.
They support these with specialist services
3. Support groups - 'Us Too' support groups for young carers living with parental
mental ill health to share their feelings, increase their understanding of mental
illness and improve their emotional resilience.
4. Young Carers Forum - the 'voice' of young carers, the opportunity to young
carers to influence the provision of services
5. Express Yourself Days -the opportunity to use creative arts to express feelings
6. Training - a range of training opportunities
7. Black & Minority Ethnic Work - development of cultural sensitivity to meet the
needs of young carers from the BME communities
The brief for Ecclesiastical and Good for Nothing
In Gloucestershire, there are around 7,000 young carers quietly bearing the role
from day to day without question and without very much support. They currently
reach around 500
To date the majority of their funding has come from Trusts and grants but they are
now diversifying their funding streams and attracting more funding and support
from local and national companies. They are constantly working to raise public
awareness of the work they do & support they provide to young carers in Glos.
Specifically they are keen to:
1. update their web presence to enable them to create more internet-based
marketing campaigns for the charity using social media such as Facebook, Twitter,
YouTube, Wordpress etc
2. create a policy and set of guidelines around these projects to ensure that
there are safeguards in place when the programmes are rolled out e.g. so that
everything they do with social media protects young people and does not put them
at risk in any way
Their main aim is to embrace the internet as a marketing tool which can be used by
their marketing team which includes young carers themselves while ensuring the
safety of the young people at all times and ensuring efficient use of charity
resources (limited time and dedicated resources).
They currently have 2 websites, one of which is more directly used by young people
http://www.glosyoungcarers.org.uk/ and the other which is more directed at
donors and supporters http://www.gloucestershireyoungcarers.co.uk/. They feel
the young website is a bit too loud and dated, and the corporate website is too
They would like to explore how they might evolve these either separately or jointly
-potentially using something like WordPress which is more flexible and intuitive to
use and develop themselves.
One of their key principles is to involve their young carers in the development of
their programmes via their Forum. They are keen to involve a group of young
carers in the development of prototypes of the kind of media that would be used
into the future by the charity – as part of helping them develop their skills for the
What do we have to work with?
Current website content for their 2 sites
A group of young carers onsite to help develop ideas with during the workshop
A Facebook group (at present only targeting over 18’s, twitter (@glosyoungcarers)
and blog (http://youngcarersdownunder.blogspot.com/ which was used for a
specific project) and some web-based media and content
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