‘Young Carer 2021’ win for two Young Carers supported by Child Action Northwest at BBC Radio Lancashire #MakeADifference awards.

Child Action Northwest (CANW), a local charity supporting over 10,000 children, young people and adults every year, are proud of the recognition and awareness shown for the challenging role so many young people face. Their Young Carers service is commissioned and established by Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Being a Young Carer can put a massive burden on young shoulders. Not enough time to be with friends, or looking after their own health and wellbeing. School work and attendance can suffer and schools don’t always understand why as they don’t have the full picture. The worry is with them day in and day out and is a constant emotional drain on a young carer.

Sue Cotton, CEO of CANW commenting on the BwD CANW Young Carers service said:

“At CANW we build a bridge between school and home, informing schools of the situation and find ways to support the young carer. We focus on the individual needs and help young carers stay healthy, attend school and achieve their life goals, finding a college place even if their academic record is poor. Our mission is to reduce their caring role where possible, ensuring that the family has access to further appropriate health and social care services. Workshops and online sessions are regular to build a community of support so that no young carer ever feels they are alone.”

2021 Young Carer WINNER, Hasti Jahanghiri, 16

Hasti, 16, won ‘2021 Young Carer’ for the unwavered support she’s shown for her mum since seeking asylum in the UK together almost 2 years ago.

At the age of 16, she has found herself living a very different life to her peers – whilst it was not easy balancing her caring responsibilities with school, she has continued to excel in her studies. It was through overcoming the adversity she has faced, that has made her into the strong person she is today and equally deserving of her win.

Highly commended winner, Blaine Cunningham, 14

Blaine, 14, spent the last 6 years caring for his mum, throughout the pandemic, there were times when Blaine couldn’t go to school because his mum was classed as vulnerable due to Covid-19. At such a young age he has proven that even doing the smallest of things can make the biggest difference.

There are an estimated 1543 Young Carers in BwD alone between the ages of 5 to 18 years, and many more still hidden in the shadows. They could be providing emotional and/or physical support to a parent or a sibling with an illness or disability, mental health and substance misuse.

Huma Sheikh, Young Carers Coordinator at CANW said:

“We are so proud of all of Young Carers, and we are often humbled when we hear their stories and what they are doing to look after their family members who are unwell. For our Young Carer to win an award was absolutely fantastic because not only did it give the Young Carer the recognition they truly deserved, but also, our hope is that it may help to encourage other Young Carers to be identified. We offer timely support, 1:1 sessions, respite from their home situation – all the while ensuring that their voice is being heard in their role as a Young Carer.”


To learn more about support for Young Carers in Blackburn with Darwen visit: https://canw.org.uk/early-support/young-carers/

If you are a young carer and need any help, support, advice or just someone to speak to, there are support groups available and help. We don’t want anyone to struggle alone, please contact CANW by phone 01254 692709 or email youngcarers@canw.or.uk