Positive Steps awarded £50K by BBC Children in Need

Positive Steps in Oldham have been awarded a grant of £50.000 over 2 years by BBC Children in Need. This grant will fund additional support for young carers aged 14 to 19 and will help make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people right here in Oldham.

The funding will support a new project “Young Carers SHINE” aimed specifically at engaging more young carers over 14 and supporting them to develop the skills to become peer mentors to younger carers.

Young carers often experience poorer outcomes in health, education and employment. In Oldham around 12% of young carers known to our services aged 16-18 are not in education or employment. This project will enable us to engage better with the young carers most at risk of becoming unemployed and help them to develop employability skills.

Around 1 in 4 young carers says that they have been bullied at school because of their caring role. By helping young carers to develop improved confidence and skills, this project will increase resilience in this group. The younger people supported by peer mentors will also experience increased confidence and receive support from peers who understand their situation.

Young carers can often feel tired and stressed due to their caring responsibilities and can live in chaotic households. Young carers often need individual support and the chance for respite to improve their health and wellbeing outcomes. The Young carers SHINE programme concentrates on improving the physical and emotional wellbeing of young carers by giving them access to physical activities which reduce stress and worry as well as keeping them fit and healthy. The project will promote emotional health and wellbeing by supporting individuals to develop coping strategies for life’s challenges and to encourage positive thinking.

Thanks to this funding from BBC Children in Need young carers will not only gain new skills but will experience new activities, take part in residentials, enjoy new challenges and gain valuable respite from their caring responsibilities.

Rina Dabhi, Director of Adult and Family Services at Positive Steps said: “This funding is going to enable us to really target and reach young carers over 14 who often disengage with services and can go unsupported now. We are delighted at the new opportunities and activities that all of our young carers are going to enjoy as a result of this funding from BBC Children in Need.”

BBC Children in Need relies on the generosity and creativity of the thousands of supporters and fundraisers who raise millions of pounds for the charity every year. To date the UK public has raised over £1 billion for children and young people facing disadvantage across the UK.