June 11-18 is Carers Week nationally and both Sheffield Young Carers and Sheffield Carers Centre are holding events for carers across the city. I’m calling for it to be marked by giving free travel to Sheffield’s young carers, after 500 people signed my petition backing the move.
Many people with disabilities already qualify for free public transport within Sheffield, but those caring for them do not, and young carers under the age of 16 are not eligible to receive Carer’s Allowance.
There are an estimated 7,000 young carers between the ages of 8 and 25 in Sheffield, with an average age of 12. Alongside caring responsibilities, they need to use public transport to travel to learn, work or have a social life.
I’m delighted that hundreds of people have shown their support for our young carers in time for this year’s Carers Week. These young people give so much in helping their loved ones, and it’s time they got something in return.
Other local authorities like Edinburgh have managed to get travel schemes in place for their young carers, so Sheffield can do it too – being able to travel freely and have a social life is so vital for young people regardless of caring responsibilities. We’ve made some good progress on getting a leisure pass for young carers – the next step is finding a way to get free travel too. There’s still time to add your name to my petition – click here.