Identify and support ‘hidden’ younger carers in West Sussex

Morwen Millson Liberal Democrat county councillor

Morwen Millson Liberal Democrat county councillor

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More work to identify and support carers in West Sussex is still needed, according to county councillors.

There could be at least 6,000 ‘hidden’ young cares in the county, with an estimated 84,000 unpaid carers providing support to family and friends.

Morwen Millson (LDem, Horsham Riverside), who has chaired a West Sussex County Council group looking at what support can be made available to carers, said that many ‘do not identify themselves as carers and that is a huge barrier to seeking support’.

This was a particular problem in the county’s ethnic minority communities, she said.

Peter Catchpole (Con, Holbrook), cabinet member for health and adult social care, thanked the group for their work at a meeting on Friday October 21 in raising the profile of carers and ‘recognising their vital work’.

He explained that there were 50 carer support groups across West Sussex, with £3.7m spent on carers support through the Better Care Fund.

James Walsh (LDem, Littlehampton East), leader of the Lib Dem group at WSCC, said his main concerns around young carers was the burdens they shoulder can sometimes leave a life-long impact, and can particular affect their education.

Margaret Evans (Con, Chichester South) felt that more support was needed in schools for young children, on top of allowing them to have a social life outside education, while Amanda Jupp (Con, Billingshurst) said they needed to help raise the profile of Carers Support West Sussex.

Mrs Millson added: “Do not forget about it, please keep gunning for carers today, tomorrow, and in the next council.”

For more information visit Carers Support West Sussex’s website at www.carerssupport.org.uk or call 0300 028 8888 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

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