On Monday 2 November 2020 Nepacs was presented with The Bridge Young Carers Neighborhood Charter.

Family Action’s The Bridge Young Carers Service has been working in partnership with Nepacs in County Durham to achieve County Durham’s Young Carers Charter – which Nepacs originally received in July 2013. Family Action is a national charity whose vision is to build ‘Stronger families’ by providing services that supports children, young people and their families.

The Bridge Young Carers project in County Durham provides a whole family approach with the aim of reducing the caring role for young people. They listen to young people about their personal and their family needs, working in partnership with schools and adult services, to provide young carers with 1-1 time and access to meet other young carers through the young carers forum, whilst advocating for school support and arranging carers breaks.

To achieve the Charter, Family Action worked with Nepacs at all levels to raise awareness of the plight of young carers. Many young people care for parents and family members in often difficult circumstances with little support which can impact on their education and health.

The charter is a list of pledges which organisations are asked to meet in order to raise awareness and better support young carers across County Durham, such as: developing a dedicated policy to help support young carers and their families; to have information readily available about young carers, and recognising the need to maintain privacy and confidentiality.

Nepacs has met all of the pledges of the young carers charter and will be working in partnership with The Bridge Young Carers over the next two years to better support young carers in County Durham.

The charter process was supported by Aelred Robinson (Nepacs Youth Project Coordinator), who said that: “Imprisonment can be a traumatic experience for young people and their families and the impact of a parent leaving the family home brings a number of challenges and uncertainties about the future. In particular, there may be significant changes in caring responsibilities for the young person and, in some cases, young people themselves take on a caring role to support a parent or sibling at home. In working with Bridge Young Carers and completing their training, our youth staff will now have a much greater understanding of the ways in which Nepacs can support young people and their families if a caring role is identified. Furthermore, it is a commitment from Nepacs to continue to make a positive difference to prisoners, and their families and friends across County Durham.

More information on the Nepacs youth project visit www.nepacs.co.uk