Young Carers

Who is a young carer? 

UCAS define a Young Carer as:

"anyone who has a commitment to providing unpaid care to a family member or friend who cannot cope without support. This may be due to illness, disability, a mental health issue, or substance misuse. Caring responsibility may be short term, such as supporting someone with their recovery following an accident, or over a long-term period. This may include helping someone with a long-term illness"

Click here for a helpful link from UCAS regarding young carers. 

?Support from the local community: York & North Yorkshire

Outside of university, there is plenty of support available from the local community and York Council. Take a look at some of the support available:  

YC assessment of needs  This is through York Council and is an assessment of needs for the young carer. This is aimed at young carers under the age of 18. You are also eligible for an assessment if you are a young adult carer (aged 18-25), or an adult carer. The assessment is to establish your individual needs and what your local council can provide to support your role as a carer. Furthermore, the assessment may recognise additional support your loved one requires. 
Carers emergency card   If a carer looks after someone over 18, who lives in the City of York, then they can apply for a card. The scheme is for Carers who may worry about what will happen to the person they care for if they (the carer) is taken ill or has an accident or another emergency to deal with. Both the carer and the person they look after will know that an emergency plan can be put into action at any time. Carers have said that this gives them peace of mind. 
York Carers Centre (YCC)  

YCC supports Carers of all ages, there are referral pages for different ages and a professional will assess your referral. Through these referrals, you will receive a carers emergency card, in addition to a Carers discount card. The telephone lines are open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm (4pm on a Friday) for information and advice. There is a free evening advice line on Wednesdays from 5.00pm to 8pm on the main number: 01904 715 490.  

Further support available:  

  • Events – Day trips out and evening social activities to give you a break from your caring role and an opportunity to meet other young adult carers.
  • One to one support – a chance to have a chat, let off some steam and get any advice and support you need in relation to your caring role. 
  • Opportunities to get your voice heard – A chance to speak about the issues that affect you as a carer through forums.
Buttle UK  Students are eligible for funding under the age of 21 who are facing expectational circumstances, such as caring for a loved one. You can apply for the grant, in addition to financial support from the university. The dedicated point of contact at university, or a social worker, will support you in your funding application. 
Carers discount card This is a free card for carers that provides discounts to save money at local businesses. 

?Top tips for carers who want to go to university

1. Do your research. 

Find out about the support options offered by the university before you make your final decision on which university is for you. Contact the support services directly or visit on an Open Day to discover more 

2. Talk to the University 

We would advise you to talk to the university about your needs before enrolling. This can help them prepare for your arrival and make sure you get the most from your university experience. This should be done as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition. However, it is not too late to let the university know after you have received your offers or confirmed your place. If your circumstances change during your studies or after you apply, it is a good idea to inform the university.  

There are many ways you can disclose your caring responsibilities to the university: 

  • Use your UCAS personal statement to highlight where your caring responsibility has enabled you to develop any strengths or skills. 
  • With your permission, a referee can mention your circumstances in the reference. They can also make sure the university knows if your caring role has had any impact on your studies or exam results (for example through absence).
  • Contact the university directly through Student Services. Knowing about your circumstances can help the Admissions team take your achievements into account and gain a better understanding of your potential in context. It will not reflect negatively on your application or academic ability, but instead will enable them to form a complete picture of you as an individual.

3. Personal statement

Your personal statement is an excellent place to highlight your skills, strengths, and positive attributes that your caring responsibility have allowed you to develop. 

4. Making future plans

If you are planning to live at home or move away from home for your studies, we suggest you think about some of the more practical aspects. Some things to consider might be:  

  • Finances – Look at the financial support available to you from the Government and the university of your choice. There may be scholarships or bursaries available to you. When you apply for Student Finance, don’t forget to check when you need to apply for any Carers bursaries or grants. Set aside time to for budgeting and consider your living costs, cost for equipment or books.
  • Travel plans – If you plan to commute to university, think about travel times at different points in the day. Things you may want to consider are the availability and cost of parking or the accessibility of a train or bus station. Alternatively if you are planning to move away from home, how will you move your belongings to your new accommodation? Remember to build all travel costs into your budget. 
  • Work placements – If you are planning on studying a course that requires work placements or off-site learning, it is a good idea to find out in advance when these are likely to take place. This will enable you to make any necessary arrangements and update your travel plans and budget accordingly


Resources designed to support young people who are navigating school, further education, and higher education!

school students

Parents and Carers

Resources for Parents/Carers to enable you to support young people as they make decisions about their future



Resources for teachers/practitioners working with young people and supporting the Careers curriculum in school/college


Additional Support

Resource and information relating to specific groups and / or circumstances that may benefit from additional support.