Support for young carers and siblings of disabled people

Sometimes, we all need space to relax and share our experiences with people who understand us. That’s why we offer support and activities to young carers and siblings of people with disabilities. 

Your child could attend one of our virtual book clubs or games nights, or come along to a wellbeing session if they’d like to talk. The choice is theirs!

How Sense supports young carers and siblings of disabled people

What is a young carer?

Young carers are people under 18 who have some responsibility for taking care of someone else. This could be a friend or family member. Often, it’s someone with a disability. 

There are 800,000 young carers in the UK today.

Being a carer can come with some stress. It’s important for young carers to be able to have fun, make friends and talk about their experiences. 

Who we support

We work with young carers and siblings aged 5-18, based in the UK. 

Sense supports young carers with caring responsibilities for a brother, sister or parent with any disability.

Online support

Most of our work with siblings and young carers happens online. This means you can access our sessions from wherever you are in the UK. 

We send out free activity packs in the post, so you can try your hand at something new!

We’ll also email you each month with a timetable of online activities. We can provide iPads and IT support to help you access these. 

“There are so many different activities at the Sense sessions. Dancing, mindfulness, bowling and football – and lots of pizza! Since I first started, it’s easier for me to talk to new people and make friends. My relationship with my brother has stayed the same but I feel like a different person.”

Young person supported by Sense

Some of the activities on offer include:

  • Book clubs
  • Film nights
  • Arts and crafts
  • Dance and discos
  • Cooking
  • Games nights
  • Wellbeing sessions

In-person meet-ups

Depending on where you live in the UK, you might also be able to come along to one of our monthly meet-ups. These events give siblings and young carers the chance to spend time together, chat and play. 

Close-up of a young boy in a lifejacket on a sailing boat.

Something just for them

From yoga to action movies: whatever your child is into, our activities can give them a break from everyday stresses.
A girl sitting in the foreground while a boy stands behind her, both smiling at the camera.

A chance to talk

Our support groups give young people the chance to talk to other people with similar life experiences.
Rosie holds up her Harry Potter paper plate design to the camera

A way to build confidence

Does your child want to learn a new skill, like cooking or dancing? Or make some new friends? We’re here to help them!

“It sounds like I am being dramatic, but these sessions have really been life-changing for us all, especially Zach. It can be really sad for siblings as they can get forgotten about a bit through no one’s fault. He was quite reserved during the first sessions but now, he joins in by himself. This is his time and he loves it.”

Faye, Zach’s mum

How to apply for support for a young carer or sibling

  1. Fill in the form below.
  2. One of our team will be in touch to arrange a good time to chat about your child, their interests and wellbeing. 
  3. We’ll email you a timetable of online activities every month for your child to choose from. They can sign up for as many or as few as they wish. 
  4. As friendships grow, we can support your child to keep in touch with other siblings and young carers they get on with.
  5. We’ll check in with you regularly to see how your child is getting on, and if they need any extra support. 

Interested in support for young carers and siblings?

Any questions?

See the answers to some frequently asked questions below. Or, if you have any other questions about support for young carers and siblings, get in touch.

Who is the project for?

The project is for anybody who is aged 5-18 who has a sibling with a disability, or who helps care for a parent with a disability. The project is unsuitable for people who are siblings or young carers of people who have a long term or terminal illness, or who have a family member with an addiction. 

What does the project do?

The project connects siblings and young carers to develop meaningful friendships, provides opportunities to try new and fun activities, gives young people respite from caring responsibilities and supports their wellbeing.

Where does the project run?

The majority of the action takes place online, with a wide variety of activities offered each month through Zoom (video call software) so that anybody in the country can access them. If you have trouble getting online, we can support you!

Do you have any face-to-face support?

Yes! By signing up to our siblings and young carers service, you can access monthly face-to-face groups in Birmingham and Bristol, with a London group also being established this year. These take place on Saturdays.

Do you provide counselling for young people who have a mental health condition?

Whilst a young person with a mental health condition can still sign up and access our project, we cannot provide counselling for them. If you have any concerns regarding either your mental health or a young person’s, we recommend contacting your GP.

Support from Sense

We’re the national disability charity supporting everyone who is deafblind or has complex disabilities. We’re here for people of all ages and their families. If you need more information and advice about the services we provide, you can find out more here.