Boost to help care for young carers

Published 5:00am 9 June 2022

Boost to help care for young carers
Words by Jodie Powell

Cedar Creek’s The Carers Foundation will be able to deliver workshops for young female carers with the help of a State Government Grant.

The foundation is one of more than 30 recipients in the latest round of the Investing in Women Grants, which aim to advance gender equality and empower Queensland women.

Established in 2015 by Ronnie Benbow and husband Michael, The Carers Foundation supports the emotional, physical and mental wellbeing of unpaid carers with a range of free programs.

Ronnie says mental wellbeing is a massive issue among unpaid carers and the $10,000 grant will allow her to deliver a series of workshops focussed on mental health resilience to female teen-carers to prevent health-crisis breakdowns.

“It’s documented that two-thirds of unpaid carers have quite severe mental health issues,” Ronnie says.

“The struggles are very real and it means we can prepare a lot more people to cope.”

Support for young carers

With 420,000 unpaid carers in Queensland alone, Ronnie says about half the people the foundation supports are young carers.

“They are doing things and seeing things they should never have to do – resuscitating siblings or parents who have seizures.

“You can’t even begin to comprehend – they do it out of love and they don’t know any different.

“It’s not until you get them away that they realise it’s not a normal way of life.”

Ronnie says many young carers struggle on their own with little support, too embarrassed to seek help.

“You see the stress a 17-year-old is under with normal stuff – imagine having carer responsibilities on top of that.

“They’re emotionally and physically broken.”

Fundraising lunch

The foundation is holding its annual Who Cares fundraising luncheon on June 17 at the Victoria Park Golf Complex from 11.30am-3.30pm. Find out more and book tickets here.

Ronnie says the three-day retreats offered free to carers by the Foundation made a world of difference and programs were run during school holidays specifically for young carers.

“In three days, their health is restored, they have met other people, they’ve got hope.

“It’s what heals them, knowing someone cares.”

Variety of help

Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman says the organisations will share in $270,000 in funding.

“The initiatives in this round focus on a broad range of issues including domestic and family violence prevention, healthy relationships, women’s health and wellbeing and women’s mentoring,” she says.

“They encapsulate a diverse range of women and girls with many different lived experiences.

“This includes women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the LGBTQI+ community, people with disabilities and those living in rural and remote parts of our state.”

See a full list of recipients under previous rounds, and for more information about future rounds here.

Find more local news here.

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