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Council Services:

Caring for young carers

Children and young people supporting loved ones can get a well deserved helping hand themselves

Almost 1,200 youngsters in Lincolnshire have been identified as carers looking after someone at home.

Young carers with mother

“VERY PROUD”: Katrina Birmingham benefits hugely from the support of her three children, including Carson and Katana (pictured).

The real figure could even be much higher, with estimates putting it as high as 6,000.

For all those young people, the Lincolnshire Young Carers service is there to provide vital support.

Run by the council, it works with schools and communities to help under-19s in their caring roles.

They’re also encouraged to find time for homework, meeting friends and enjoying other interests.

Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children’s services, says:

“The changes to the home routine can be quite small, but they can make a big difference.

“For example, it could be a case of arranging relief care one evening a week, so a young carer can have a kick-about with friends or see a film with a brother or sister.

“Lots of children also find it helpful to have a friend in a similar position to them, and we’re very happy to put them in touch with one another.”

Cllr Bradwell adds: “Whatever’s suggested, it’s really important that everyone in the family feels safe and happy with it, so that’s always our priority.”

To find out more about the Lincolnshire Young Carers service, call 01522 553275 or email

Three special helpers

Katrina Birmingham, from Louth, developed a serious back problem after giving birth to her youngest child. It has left her seriously limited in her movement, and she has to use crutches, a wheelchair or a scooter, as well as specialist equipment such as a bath-lift and grab rails.

Katrina also needs help to clean the house and move around, with the support of children Amba, 16, Carson, nine, and four-year-old Katana.

“Amba helps with housework and takes me to the hairdressers and the shops, pushing the wheelchair. Without the support of my family, I just wouldn’t get out,” says Katrina.

“Carson helps put my shoes and socks on and picks things up for me, as well as playing with his little sister and keeping her occupied. Even Katana likes to join in, copying her brother and sister.”

Katrina continues: “Amba was in a young carers’ support group at school and enjoyed events and trips.

“Carson is also supported by a group at Lacey Gardens Junior School, which allows us to do things like parents’ evening over the phone.

“I’m very proud of them. I know they miss out sometimes when they could be out with their friends, but they take it all in their stride and still manage to do their own things.”

Carson said: “We all do our best to help Mum get around and make her happy, as it’s not easy for her.”

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