Bright Futures Upbeat - now part of Young Carers Connected

Young Carers Connected – Connecting Bright Futures Upbeat and Carewise

Young Carers Connected (YCC) is a new project working to support Young Carers in Mid Devon, North Devon and Torridge.  Rising from the ashes of the familiar and hugely popular Bright Futures Upbeat and Carewise, when both projects unfortunately came to an end in the summer of 2021.

YCC is a partnership between TTVS in Bideford, Unite Carers in Mid Devon and Citizens Advice in Torridge, North, Mid and West Devon (CATNMWD) – launching on 1st February 2022.  It is funded for 3 years by the National Lottery for specialist support workers in Mid Devon, North Devon and Torridge and offers carer-specific support to young carers between the ages of 8 up to 25 years.

We are very excited to be working with Citizens Advice CATNWMD to offer whole family support.  We know that there are several issues that can impact the well-being of young carers and their families.  Working in partnership with Citizens Advice, we are going to offer a range of support services that will look at housing, debt, benefits and employment.

Principally YCC offers young carers:

  • Assessment - An initial needs-based assessment with regular reviews.
  • Support - Every young carer is assigned a support worker with who they can build a strong, trusting relationship from the outset.
  • Planning and Mentoring - 1:1 mentoring support accompanied by an Action Plan that is based on individual need.  Walk and talk, working face to face and virtually with young carers.
  • Family Support - complimented by our direct access into Citizens Advice CATNMWD services, with a dedicated team to help with issues such as housing, debt, benefits and employment.
  • Advocacy - for young carers and attendance at TAF meetings, education meetings and other statutory meetings.
  • Access to training, information and advice - through our social media platforms, the website, Facebook page (with a private group for older young carers), newsletter, and monthly thematic Live Chats.
  • Ambassadors - The superb Ambassador Project - primarily a group of former young carers themselves who help us to support young people directly through our activities, attendance at Steering Groups and promotional events – their approach based upon their own personal experiences as a young carer.
  • Respite Activities – Whilst we receive no specific funding for trips and activities we intend to offer some excellent outdoor trips and activities during key holidays throughout the year.

We will also work in collaboration with Devon Carers, schools, colleges, SPACE, local charities and youth groups to promote the identification and needs of young carers.  Visiting groups and getting to know young people in these settings.

We rely purely on charitable funding and TTVS are in the process of applying for further funding to allow us to extend our support workers’ hours, giving help to more young people and enhancing our service with further opportunities.

Referrals and self-referrals are strongly encouraged. 

Contact details:  Tracy Downs, Project Manager               Email:  tracy@ttvs.org.uk

Website: https://www.torridgecvs.org.uk/   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YoungCarersConnected

Our funders:

  • Torridge District Council
  • Lottery Community Fund
  • Northam Town Council
  • Bideford Bridge Trust
  • Bideford TC
  • BBC Children in Need
  • Devon County Council
  • European Union: European Social Fund