The Wi Rascals works with young people aged 5 to 16 years old who care for or are affected by someone else at home - usually a parent or sibling.
The person they care for may suffer from:
- Mental health problems
- Chronic ill-health
- Drug and alcohol misuse
- Domestic abuse issues
Caring responsibilities can affect a young person:
EMOTIONALLY - Putting other people’s needs first, being worried, anxious or stressed. Feelings of guilt, anger, being trapped, isolated and being misunderstood.
PHYSICALLY - Suffering from pains or strains from heavy lifting or helping someone to wash or dress.
SOCIALLY - Not able to meet up with friends regularly. Feeling isolated and lacking confidence. A possible target for being bullied.
EDUCATIONALLY - Difficulties concentrating in class, feeling tired, worried, with no time to do homework.
FINANCIALLY - Low family income. Not having enough money for basic needs.
Most Young Carers go unnoticed or unrecognised, until there is a crisis.
Often, family members do not want people outside the home to know that someone is ill. They may fear that the family could become separated.
All Young Carers have the right to:
- Make their own decisions and choices, (to be a child, a Carer or both).
- Be heard, listened to and believed.
- Protection from physical and psychological harm.
- Information and choice.
- Stop physically caring.
What we do:
Young Carer Individual Support - One to one time with a worker (if requested by the Young Carer).
Young Carer Groups - Organised activities, discussions, support and a chance to meet other Young Carers and have fun. This offers Young Carers a chance to make new friends and get a break from their caring situation at home. As well as providing a safe space to talk about Young Carers’ issues it is also recognised that Young Carers need ‘time-out’ to just be a young person.
Residentials and Day Trips - Time-out from home. A chance to try new things and have fun.
From time to time we are able to offer Young Carers the chance to get away for a week or a weekend if their home situation allows. We also organise one-off day trips for Young Carers.
Information and Support - To enable Young Carers and their families to access other services.
We recognise that Young Carers’ circumstances vary enormously. We aim to support Young Carers and their family members, including the person being cared for, to find local services that will meet their specific needs.
Awareness Raising - Campaigning on behalf of Young Carers locally and nationally.
Through networking and partnership with other organisations, staff from NWCC aim to highlight Young Carers issues and inform other professionals in order to help identify ‘hidden’ Young Carers.
Wi Rascals Support Groups
Ages 5 - 11 years: Every Monday at Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre, EH4 2SA, 3.30pm - 5.30pm
Ages 12 - 16 years: Every Wednesday at Craigroyston High School, EH4 4NL, 3.30pm - 5.30pm