The Young Carers' Festival is a national festival run annually by The Childrens Society and YMCA. It provides an opportunity for more than 1700 children and teenagers to get together for a weekend off from their full time jobs of looking after parents or family members.
The young people all camp out together at night and, during the day, take part in a host of activities and events laid on by the organisers. They can have a go at everything from scuba diving to drumming, songwriting to learning circus skills.
The festival is considered the highlight of the year for many young carers as they enjoy bands, dancing and even water fights. It's all about enjoying their youth.
However, the festival also provides the young people with a forum to speak out about the issues surrounding being a young carer. The importance of the festival was recognised by the Government when it used it as part of its consultation process in researching and compiling its recent New Deal for Carers strategy review.
Key politicians and spokespeople for services for children and young people attend the event each year and spend time listening to the views of the festival-goers.
"I had a great time and loved every bit of the weekend, thank you so much, I hope that we can have another one next year, or maybe 2 each year!" said one young carer.
"YCF is getting bigger year by year, but traditions are staying the same - still the shirt-signing and making friends that was around when I started going back in 2001"
Gloucestershire Young carers recognises that one of the most important things they can offer young carers is the opportunity to mix with other young carers.
That's why we encourage young carers in the county to attend the Young Carers' festival. Our Short Breaks Co-Ordinator organises the trip to the festival and oversees the care of the young people who attend.
When a young carer - be they 8 or 18 - joins a group of other young carers they can relax - truly relax. They know they don't have to explain away their situation, justify their feelings or even talk about their situation at home. They can be themselves, in the knowledge that they are with other children and young people who have an unspoken understanding of their situation.
Sometimes being with another young carer means they can let off steam about their situation, talk about their parent's condition or illness or even find a sympathetic friend who will listen to their feelings.
Being with other young carers means there is no pressure and lots of opportunity to be 'young'.