Young Carers

Y-Sort-It-banner-3 resized.jpg

Y Sort It - Young Carers


The Young Carers group is for ages 12-18 years.

The group offers 1-2-1 support which is available on the nights the group is run but also whenever you need it by contacting the Young Carers team.

Young Carers group sessions are held every TUESDAY night 6pm-8.30pm at the Y-Sort It base. (transport can be arranged for those traveling from Dumbarton/Vale area) Each session has lots of different activities and no two sessions are the same!!

Support is available on alternate nights from the Young Carers team and also online.

Respite opportunities and day trips are available for Young Carers and are always fantastic events when they run.

By attending the group there are opportunities to mix with your peer group and have loads of fun.

To get in touch with us:

you can contact one of the Young Carers team directly by email : (Senior worker for the Young Carers) (Assistant support worker) (support worker)

Or in person at the Y Sort-It base at 5 West Thomson Street Clydebank.

If you wish to make use of our referral form you can it by clicking hereOnce you complete it please email it to

You can also follow us on the Y Sort It facebook page to keep up to date with what we’re up to.

Info leaflets from Y Sort-it :

1. Don’t Bottle it up

2. A guide to being a young career in West Dunbartonshire

young carers.jpg

Who is a young carer?

  • Young carers are children and young people (under 18) whose lives are affected because they have to care, support or take responsibility for someone.

  • It might be someone who

    1. has a long-term or serious illness,

    2. has a physical or learning disability,

    3. has a mental illness,

    4. is frail or elderly or

    5. is misusing alcohol or drugs.

  • The person may be a parent, a brother or sister, another member of the family or a friend

  • They don’t have to live in the same house as the young carer themselves.



  • 56% of young carers are female and 44% are male

  • The average age of young carers is 12 (although this is slowly decreasing)

  • One in three young carers regularly miss school or have educational difficulties because of their caring role.

  • 71% of young carers have been bullied

  • One in four young carers do not tell anyone they are looking after someone at home

  • 72% perform domestic tasks, yet one in five young carers are providing intimate care


What sort of tasks might a young carer carry out?

  • Budgeting

  • Shopping

  • Collecting prescriptions and benefits

  • Accompanying to appointments

  • Housework

  • Personal care

  • Dressing

  • Giving medication

  • Moving and handling

  • Communicating for/on behalf of someone

  • Parenting younger siblings


Examples of young carers

Read the examples below and think:

1) What sorts of tasks do young carers carry out?

2) What skills and qualities might these young people have?

3) How might they feel about these roles and responsibilities?

4) What difficulties, concerns and worries might they face at home, at school, with their friends, with finding leisure time and thinking about the future.

You can get more information by clicking HERE.


Examples of young carers

  • Sundeep, aged 14: Sundeep is 14 and helps her mother and her brother look after her dad who has multiple sclerosis. Her Dad is gradually getting worse. He can walk around a little but not without a stick, sometimes he uses a wheelchair. Things have become more and more difficult over the past 5 years. For example, they can no longer go to places in a car like other families.  Sundeep’s mum does most of the caring as well as some part time cleaning jobs to earn money. Sundeep’s Dad goes to a day centre three times a week which helps them all.  Sundeep normally helps her Mum with cooking and cleaning and some housework. Her brother, Dalvir, Aged 15, also helps. Where her Dad used to get up a ladder to change a light bulb or jobs like that, Dalvir does that now.

  • Luke, aged 11: Luke is helping to care for his younger brother who is disabled and has physical and learning disabilities.  In the beginning he simply had to watch and play with Joshua and keep him out of harm’s way, but as Joshua got older, bigger and heavier, Luke’s help was needed more and more. Luke’s father works away from home and his mother does not have the strength to lift Joshua alone. Luke gets up early to get Joshua ready before he goes to school and comes home early for the same reason.


Examples of young carers

  • Dave, aged 8: Dave’s mum is addicted to drugs and finds it very difficult to cope. Dave’s mum spends a lot of time in bed and rarely goes out of the house, therefore Dave has to look after her himself. Dave sees his Dad on a regular basis which helps.

  • Nadia, aged 16: Nadia is 16 and has three younger brothers. She is the oldest child. Her father is visually impaired and her mother stays at home to look after him. Nadia’s parents have poor English and no family in this country.


Examples of young carers

  • Isobel, aged 13: Isobel lives with her mother who has recently separated from Isobel’s stepfather. Isobel’s mother has schizophrenia and agoraphobia. Her condition prevents her from carrying out many domestic tasks. She frequently wants to harm herself and hears voices telling her to commit suicide. She relies on Isobel’s company to prevent her from harming herself.

  • Sondra, aged 15: Sondra lives alone with her mum who is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. She has been caring for her alone since Sondra’s father left 7 years ago. Her mum finds it difficult to go out of the house or even perform the simplest tasks without becoming tired and weak. On bad days she can barely make herself a cup of tea, and when she is at her worst Sondra does all the housework, shopping and cooking of meals.


What difference a friend can make to a young carer

  • It is very often the isolation and sense of loneliness which can be the most difficult thing for young carers to cope with. Just being a good and understanding friend can make a huge difference.

  • Make a Good Friend list of the things you could do to help a friend in this situation.

  • Now make a Bad Friend list – things that you could do that would possibly make the situation even worse.