Young Carers – why am I passionate about supporting the Young Carers Initiative?
Dr Morris Charlton Regional Officer, Yorkshire and Humberside, Voice; Ofsted Inspector and ex residential special school Headteacher.
Young Carers is something that I am passionately connected with. I met my first young carer whilst at school – Jim who would be my new partner at scrum half in the rugby team. We were at county level and budding school boy internationalists – as was everyone.
Much to my surprise I came across Jim being bullied and picked on by a gang of lads on the way from school. Given that Jim could easily have sorted the bullies out himself I was surprised that he didn’t respond. The odds changed when I joined Jim and the bullies dispersed. I asked Jim why he had taken name-calling and bullying. (We didn’t use terms such as verbal and physical bullying in those days.) He said he didn’t want to cause trouble at home. As I got to know him, and as the scrum half, stand-off partnership developed very successfully, I visited Jim at home. He didn’t want me there as he worried how people would view his Mum and Dad. Dad was blind and wheelchair bound and Mum was wheelchair bound. Tom was their principal carer.
So do I think young carers need our continuing support in school and the community? Of course I do! Do I think that schools need to develop best practice? Of course I do! Should all schools sign up – yes of course they should!