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Who Cares?

Carers Week runs from 8 to 14 June 2020

by Claire Law

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To celebrate Carers Week.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Who Cares?) and the means to display them.
  • Have available the following YouTube videos and the means to show them during the assembly:

    - ‘A day in the life of a young carer – BBC News’, available at: (3.40 minutes long)
    - ‘Out of the woods’, available at: (4.23 minutes long)
  • For Slide 10, you will need to insert details of the support services for young carers in your local area. To find these, go to:
  • Note: after this assembly, some students may identify as young carers. The following resources help with identifying local services to support young carers. These resources can be shared with pastoral staff within the school:

    - The Children’s Society website, available at:
    - a poster about young carers, available at
    - information about young carers on the Carers Trust website, available at:


  1. Have Slide 1 showing as the students enter.

    Ask the students to think of three things that they will do after school today, before they go to bed.

  2. Ask the students whether any of the things that they thought of included the following.

    Show Slides 2-8 as you go through each option.

    - Slide 2: playing video games
    - Slide 3: doing homework
    - Slide 4: attending a club or activity such as Scouts, a sports club or a music lesson
    - Slide 5: connecting with mates online, by phone or in person
    - Slide 6: watching TV
    - Slide 7: reading
    - Slide 8: eating a meal that someone has cooked for you

  3. Many of us enjoy planning ways to relax, work on our school studies, eat and socialize with others. However, some young people have plenty of other things that they need to do each evening. These might include doing the laundry and ironing, cooking for younger siblings, paying bills and managing the family budget, making phone calls to book appointments and helping someone with medication.

    Children and young people who provide help and care to a family member are called young carers. They deliver unpaid care to a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

  4. Jameal is a young carer. As well as going to school each day, he takes on a lot of tasks at home to manage caring for his mum and looking after his younger siblings. He is one of many teenagers who are carers. Let’s watch this video to find out more about a typical day for Jameal.

    Show the YouTube video ‘A day in the life of a young carer – BBC News’.

  5. As we can see from the video, it can be hard for Jameal to keep up with his homework. Caring leaves him physically tired at times. He takes the chance to have a break by visiting his grandad at the weekend.

    There were some facts about being a young carer that were missing from the video, though.

    - Being a young carer can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
    - In a survey, 39 per cent of young carers said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role. In fact, many young carers don’t always recognize that they are a carer, or may not wish to tell others about their caring role at home.
    - Over a quarter of young carers have been bullied at school because of their caring role.
    - One in 20 young carers miss school because of their caring role.

  6. It’s not all bad news, though. Many young carers gain a great deal from their caring role. Some talk of feeling proud of how they manage to look after their family member and say that it gives them a sense of purpose, identity and improved self-esteem. Many say that they feel more independent and resourceful than other young people their age. Many report that they learn useful life skills that help them in the future.

  7. Show Slide 9.

    Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘A nations greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.’
    The work of unpaid family carers in offering practical and emotional support to those in need is vital to our society. In 2015, a report found that the 6.8 million unpaid carers in the UK (including young carers like Jameal) save the state £132 billion a year – close to the cost of a second NHS! Unpaid carers demonstrate kindness, love and compassion to those in need.

  8. Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates and recognizes the vital contribution made in the UK by millions of unpaid carers: people who look after a relative, friend or neighbour who couldnt manage without them. This year, Carers Week runs from 8 to 14 June.

  9. Young carers need support themselves, too. Jameal spoke of how he gets some help and a break when he visits his grandad. Carers can also get help from charities and organizations that recognize that carers benefit from support.

    Show Slide 10.

    An organization that supports young carers in our area is (insert name of local support services for young carers).

  10. Remind the students that if they know someone who is caring for a family member, or if they are carers themselves, it is worth contacting this organization to see what sort of support it can offer.

    Point out that if any of the students are carers themselves, there are always people available in school to help and support them. (Insert details of appropriate in-school pastoral support.)

  11. Optional: explain that you are now going to show the students a video that includes a look at the support available to young carers and the difference that it can make.

    Show the YouTube video ‘Out of the woods’.

Time for reflection

Let’s spend some time reflecting upon today’s assembly.

First, let’s use a moment of silence to pause and remember the people who offer us care and help us emotionally and practically. As babies and young children, and even now as young people, we benefit from the help and care of others.

Pause to allow time for thought.

We thank God for people in our lives who show us what care and kindness is.

We pause, too, to remember those in our society who have additional needs, illnesses or disabilities that mean that they require extra support and help in their daily lives.

Pause to allow time for thought.

We pray that anyone in need of support has access to compassionate care.

Let’s pause to consider the many people in our society, like Jameal, who care for a family member. We think about the difficulties that they face, how they are enriched by their caring role and how they model to others what compassion and care looks like.

Pause to allow time for thought.

We pray that these carers can access support that helps them to overcome some of the difficulties that they face as a result of their caring role.

Pause to allow time for thought.


Publication date: June 2020   (Vol.22 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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