Young Carers Project

Download the referral pack from New Forest Young Carers Alliance.

Ciana chats to Rebecca Parker about caring for her Mum.

This programme was broadcast on BBC Radio Solent on 18 November 2019 as part of Alun Newman and Lou Hannan Radio Show.

Children in Need

young carers

New Forest Young Carers awarded £86,000 by BBC Children in Need

Community First New Forest’s Young Carer Service has been awarded a three-year grant of £86,000 by BBC Children in Need.

This grant will fund Community First New Forest’s Young Carer support work and activities, helping make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the New Forest.

The New Forest Young Carers Service offers support to children from the ages of seven to 18 years old who have someone at home with a long-term illness or disability.

This could be anything from a Mum with MS, a Dad with bipolar or a brother on the autism spectrum.

Many young Carers miss out on a regular childhood because of their caring responsibilities.

This is where the service steps in, to provide Young Carers with the opportunity to have time to themselves and have fun.

Young Carers Coordinator Marie Shotbolt said: “Young Carers can suffer from stress and worry and are often quite lonely.

We offer them support both at home and in school, but more importantly for many of the young people we support, we offer them the chance to have fun.

This award is the most amazing news as it means we can continue our vital work for another three years.

We have wanted to develop the support we can offer to help Young Carers become better at coping and now, thanks to BBC Children in Need, we can.

This money will make a real difference.”

BBC Children in Need relies on the generosity and creativity of the thousands of supporters and fundraisers who raise millions of pounds for the charity every year.

To date the UK public has raised over £1 billion for children and young people facing disadvantage across the UK.

Three Young Carers from the New Forest have taken part in a Hampshire-wide project to create a training session for teachers.

The teenagers – all supported by Community First New Forest’s Young Carer Service – have put together a training presentation and created their own short film.

“We want teachers to understand what our lives are like” said Chloe, 17. “Being a Young Carer isn’t just something that affects you for a short time. It’s on-going. If things are bad at home, doing coursework isn’t your first priority”

Young Carers Coordinator Marie Shotbolt said: “This has been a great opportunity for some of our Young Carers to get involved with. They were all really keen to share their own experiences and thanks to the support of the Children’s Society, they will all get an Arts Award as well. It’s a really worthwhile addition to their CVs and how many teenagers get to say they’ve delivered a training session to teachers?”

What we do…
We support Young Carers and their families across the New Forest.  We can help families access services that will make their lives easier as well as offering Young Carers time out and respite from their caring responsibilities.

How we help you
We work with Young Carers and their families to personalise the support we give them.  This may include –

  • One-to-one work
  • School support
  • Trips and activities
  • Signposting other useful services and support agencies

What does it cost?
There is no charge for our Young Carers Service although there may be some costs involved with some of our activities and trips.

Where we provide the service
This service is provided across the New Forest District.

Our commitment to quality
All staff and volunteers have an Enhanced DBS check and receive regular training to ensure we deliver a quality service.  We are members of Hampshire Young Carers Alliance and work with Hampshire County Council and the Children’s Society to develop a programme of work in line with County and National policies.

What our clients say

‘when I got invited to my first activity I didn't want to go because I was scared that I wasn't going to make any friends but I actually enjoyed myself and Young Carers has helped boost my confidence and it has been great.’

‘Just want to say thank you very much. The girls had a great time and it's thanks to all of you that gave up your evening for them and the other children.  It was lovely for them to have some relaxing time rather than care time’

Donations allow us to offer more activities for our Young Carers and give more of them some much needed respite.  You can donate here….

Our service does use volunteers to help provide support for Young Carers and their families.  If you would like to support our service by volunteering please contact us using the details below.

How to contact us
We accept referrals for any young person aged 7 to 18 who is affected by the disability, health problems or substance abuse of another member of their family.  This can be a self-referral or come from anyone else involved with the family.

Our address is:

New Forest Young Carers Service
Community First New Forest
First Floor Offices,
71 Christchurch Road,
BH24 1DH

Tel. number – 01425 482773
Fax – 01425 482666
Email –