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Young Carers To Get More Support

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3:32pm 16th May 2014
(Updated 3:32pm 16th May 2014)

It is revealed Cornish children as young as five are helping care for their families.

The number of under fifteens in the Duchy who look after relatives has hit more than 1,200.

It comes as a new scheme is launched in schools to ensure they are getting the support they need.

Amber from Camborne has been looking after her parents since she was eight. She said: "I get up, wake my little brother and sister up for school, do a bit of cleaning, get my parents up then, if I have to go to uni, I go to uni.

"My older sister will carry on with the chores at home then, when I come home, we'll change over and carry on cleaning and cooking.

"It's getting friends to understand that you can't always go out with them or go to the cinema - because you've got duties at home, unlike them."

Amber now volunteers for Action for Children, helping other young carers.

Lilly Caprani is from the Children's Society which is one organisation behind the scheme. She said: "Most children who are looking after someone at home, it might be mum or dad, brother or sister, they do it because they love them and they want to do it. They don't complain, they get on with it. But, at some point, that can become too much of a burden.

"Some young carers are doing maybe 20 or 30 hours a week. It might be domestic chores or it might be personal care for someone who is disabled, like getting them into the bath and washing their hair."

The new campaign will try to stop young carers falling behind at school.

It will mean teachers are trained to spot problems and allow for greater flexibility around homework deadlines or phoning home.

3:32pm 16th May 2014

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