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Caring for someone you love can be rewarding, but it’s a tough job.  The average age for a young carer is just 12 years old.

Young carers often put aside their own needs so they can provide support and care for someone close to them. The Isle of Wight Young Carers Support Service helps these incredible young people navigate their way through this important stage in their lives.

young carers
Inside a tent at one of our Residential Camps.

What is a young carer?

Young carers are responsible for the care of a family member who may have a disability, long term illness, mental health issues and drug or alcohol related problems.

Aged under 18, young carers often have to juggle education, social life and time to relax with responsibilities around the home such as shopping, housework, helping with personal care, administering medicines and looking after siblings.

Our support service

YMCA provides an Isle of Wight Council commissioned support service for up to 350 young carers across the Isle of Wight, including:

Support for higher needs young carers at home or in school

Connecting with other young carers in a safe space

Welcoming and friendly staff always willing to listen

Information and guidance to support carers and their families.

young carers
young carers

Young carer & need support?

If you think you might be a young carer or if you’re a parent with a young person who may need support, please go to the Bernardos Isle of Wight Family Centres website and click on ‘referral’ to complete a form. 

Someone from Bernardos will be in contact to assess the level of support that your child needs based on your individual family’s situation.

We can talk through your situation and work out what’s best for you and your family. Contact us on 01983 861071 at any time or email


Alongside valuable support, our service also co-ordinates respite for young carers, enabling them to lead a “normal” life for a while.  They can meet and talk to other young people in a similar situation, take trips to an amusement park, the local cinema or the annual Young Carers Festival at YMCA Fairthorne Manor every summer.

All respite is funded by valuable donations from our supporters.


YMCA Young Carers Support Service is based at YMCA Winchester House, Sandown Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight PO37 6HT.

The house is also the base for our children’s nursery, group accommodation and supported housing for young mothers.

Contact us: Call 01983 861071 or email