STUDENTS who care for someone at home on a regular basis are benefiting from support, advice and respite through their school.

Commissioned by the council’s Our Place Locality team and run by Cheshire Young Carers – St John’s Ambulance, the School Support Programme is designed to provide carers with support and advice in school, ensuring they get the best from their time at school while fulfilling care duties at home.

Cheshire Young Carers project manager Lindsay Weaver said: “Young people who access this project are often disadvantaged emotionally, educationally and socially, and lack opportunities for personal development.

“We aim to make a difference by working with schools to enable them to achieve in these areas, despite the difficulties and complexities that their caring role can bring.”

Eight schools have achieved the Cheshire Young Carers kite mark in best practice for supporting young carers in education: St Bernard’s Roman Catholic Primary School; Rossmore Primary School; Woodlands Primary School; Westminster Community Primary School; The Acorns Primary School; The Oaks Community Primary School; William Stockton Community Primary School; University Church of England Academy (UCEA).

Set up in 1997 as a pilot scheme, the Cheshire Young Carers Project has grown to support 150 young people.

Training workshops have taken place for staff from across the area’s schools looking at issues ranging from how to identify young carers and the effects of being a carer on their education, to parent engagement and working with substance abuse, mental health problems and disability.

Following the success of the Schools Support Programme in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire Young Carers have received funding to extend the project to education centres across the county.