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School Receives Young Carers’ Angel Award

Published on: 29 Apr, 2021
Updated on: 29 Apr, 2021

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School in Merrow has been awarded Surrey Young Carers’ Angel Award.

The award recognises the support the school’s young carers make.

Staff and pupils at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School in Merrow celebrate being awarded Surrey Young Carers’ Angel Award.

It was was presented to Claire Daniels, St Thomas’s home-school link worker, and Annalise Baldock, the school’s inclusion team assistant. Overall, the award recognises the school’s work championing and supporting young carers.

Surrey Young Carers education advisor for south-west Surrey, Petrina Foster, praised the school’s dedication in meeting all the criteria for the award under difficult circumstances, adding: “Claire and Annalise have worked exceptionally hard to achieve this, mostly during lockdown and via lots of Zoom [calls]. I really feel they went above and beyond to support their current young carers and to identify new ones who had become impacted by Covid.“

Surrey Young Carers (part of Action for Carers Surrey) developed the award working with young carers, launching it in 2019. It’s aim is to recognise schools who are providing real support to their young carers – and encourage all schools to do more.

It reports that, on average, there are at least two young carers in every class looking after a family member. They often face challenges because of their caring role, leading to them falling behind in their work, not meeting their potential and facing bullying.

To achieve the award, schools have to meet eight standards, checked by Surrey Young Carers staff and young carers themselves.

These include having a carers’ champion, a carers’ support group, training for staff, and assemblies about young carers to help all pupils understand the issues the young carers face, as well as support pupils to self-identify and find the help they need.

Back in March the school celebrated Young Carers Action Day when it was presented with the award.

Headteacher Neil Lewin said: “The whole school took time out to learn more about the role and significance of young carers across the world and here in our own school too.

“As a school we have worked really hard on this important area of inclusion and support. We have now officially launched our SToC and Chill Club, which will be a focal point within the school for that support, love and care for young carers at St Thomas’.”

Click here for Action for Carers Surrey’s website.

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