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Suffolk Young Carers award recognises quality of pupil support at Westbourne Academy

In recognition of its provision and high standard of support and guidance for young carers, Westbourne Academy has received the Suffolk Young Carers Bronze Award.

Westbourne Academy has around thirty registered young carers and the award acknowledges the academy’s work in providing support and guidance for these pupils. It is estimated by Suffolk Family Carers that one in twelve young people in Suffolk care for a parent or sibling.  This award also gives other pupils who may not acknowledge or realise that they are a young carer confidence that there is help available and they are not alone.  

Helen Blight, Young Carers Adviser from Suffolk Family Carers works closely with Assistant Head of Nightingale House Matt Agate at Westbourne Academy and presented academy Principal Garry Trott with the Suffolk Young Carers Bronze Award.  The academy is now working towards achieving the Silver Award. This involves further staff training, the appointment of a linked member of the leadership team to raise staff awareness and a system which gives young carers access to communication home during the academy day.

Westbourne Academy has worked closely with Suffolk Young Carers for the last few years to ensure pupils who are young carers can access support and guidance. They achieved the award by holding regular lunch time drop-in meetings and having up to date assessments that mean registered Young Carers will receive the support they need. At the drop-in sessions, pupils were invited to speak to Helen Blight and teachers at the academy if they need support or information. This support enables young carers to live as normal life as possible, shows young carers not yet identified that they can access help and raises awareness of the needs and experiences of young carers.  

The Young Carer Schools Award is commissioned by Suffolk County Council and delivered by Suffolk Family Carers; supporting schools to provide a young carer friendly ethos with necessary procedures and protocols in place to better identify and support young carers effectively. Young carers are those aged between 9 and 15 years old who care for, or are affected by, a family member who has a physical or mental illness or who has a problem with the misuse of drugs or alcohol.

Garry Trott, Principal at Westbourne Academy commented: “Our aim is now for the Silver award, with this aim will come further interventions and support for Young Carers within the academy. It is vital to our pupils’ wellbeing in the academy and at home that we recognise the daily challenges faced by young carers and work with them and their families to support them in every way possible.”

Helen Blight, Suffolk Young Carers Adviser at Suffolk Young Carers commented: “’It has been a pleasure working with Mr Agate since September by increasing the Young Carer provision at Westbourne Academy. I am thrilled that the academy has been able to achieve our Bronze award so quickly. This has highlighted the important role the Young Carers play and it has been great to see Westbourne Academy highlight them in such a positive way. I look forward to working with the academy as it looks to achieve our Silver award.”

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