Young Carers are very often overlooked by the many health and social workers that may pass through their home to work with their loved one.
One young carer said: "So many people used to arrive at our home to come to talk to my dad. Then one day the development worker from Gloucestershire Young Carers came and actually asked me how I was. I refused to talk to her at first. I just wasn't used to people talking directly to me. Eventually I realised she was there to help me."
We run a series of workshops around twice a year that aim to do just this - address the emotional needs of the young carers.
These workshops are carefully organised so that the participating young carers are similar in age and can relate to each other.
They are 'closed' groups, ensuring that those taking part are allowed to get to know each other gradually during the course of the process. They are encouraged gently to discuss their feelings about being a young carer - what it means to them.
For many of the young carers trust is a huge issue. They may have experienced bad reactions from friends at school to their dad's schizophrenia or mum's depression. They may feel ashamed of their parents' illnesses - not wishing to discuss their family situations with friends and neighbours.
For others, the big issues may be their own feelings, mistakenly believing that somehow their parents illnesses are intrinsically linked to them.
The 'Us Too' groups encourage each young carer to discuss their feelings and understand that they are entitled to feel guilt, anger, sadness, fear......
Lessening the intensity of the feelings surrounding being a young carer can lessen the burden placed upon them.
We want young carers to know they can still enjoy being young people even though they may have adult size responsibilities.