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.  Our 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:

  • 1:1 support for higher needs young carers at home or in school
  • meeting up 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 considered a young carer but are not sure or if you’re a parent with a young person who may need support, please get in touch.

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 [email protected].


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.

young carer

Latest news – Isle of Wight Foundation

In 2017, the Foundation provided a valuable £4,000 grant. Young people could apply for up to £80 each to help them learn a new skill, support a hobby, spend quality parent with a parent or pay for transport to visit siblings.  This grant made a real difference to the lives of the young carers.

Latest news – Sporting Bears support

For the last 5 years, the Sporting Bears Motor Club have been providing dream rides for our young carers.  Every year, the club descend upon Winchester House from all across the south coast to treat the youngsters to roaring rides around the local streets in their fantastic sports cars – a real thrill!


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.