Opinions

Young Carers Festival returns for a twelfth year

Written by: Hannah Martin, Youth Engagement Officer, Carers Trust

Published: 18/07/2019

The Scottish Young Carers Festival remains a highlight of the young carer events calendar in Scotland.

Coming together to have fun, meet new people and enjoy time away from caring responsibilities – a time to be a child or young person – is as important for young carers in 2019 as it was when the Scottish Young Carers Festival began.

A long year of planning activity is coming to a close. The visits to young carers services to find out what they look forward to most at the Scottish Young Carers Festival are complete. The months of planning slowly begin to take a festival shape. And now with days to go, the plans take final shape. The exciting activities are booked and the site is ready for happy campers. Between ice cream, abseiling and visiting exotic animals, there is something for everyone to take part in, for everyone to have fun.

Fun is perhaps one of the most important ingredients in the Scottish Young Carers Festival (this link will take you away from our website) mixture, but for many of the young people who attend, the chance to make their voice heard is a just as important factor. The Consultation Space, a warm and welcoming area of the festival will allow young people the chance to contemplate the carefully curated questions and give their thoughts and opinions. The Consultation Space seeks not just to understand the most important issues to young carers, but the ways in which their everyday lives are impacted by these issues. Being able to answer anonymously will allow young people freedom to share their personal opinions, while allowing young people space and time to think through their answers will allow a depth of understanding for practitioners and decision makers.

For those young people that enjoy the immediacy of putting their questions direct to decision makers, there is the opportunity to meet key Scottish Government Ministers, MSP’s and local government, health, social work and education staff. The political speed chat event will allow young people to speak with a range of key individuals who have the ability to make changes to their everyday lives.

This year, another window into the experience of young carers will be provided through the Media Ambassador team. Six young people working closely with an organisation – Media Education – have had their camera and interview training, ready to capture footage of the festival as well as the experiences of their peers. Last year, this group presented at the Carers Parliament, and we are optimistic that this year will provide just as many opportunities for the Media Ambassadors.

The Scottish Young Carer Festival (this link will take you away from our website) is full of excitement and freedom, where young people enjoy a deserved break away from caring responsibilities. But the event remembers the opportunity this gives young people to raise their voices, making accessible, appropriate and person-centred consultation an important part of the three days.

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