Westbourne Academy in Ipswich recognised for work in supporting pupils who are young carers
- Credit: Lucy Taylor
An Ipswich school has been recognised with an award for supporting its pupils who are also young carers.
Westbourne Academy in Marlow Road has around 30 registered young carers in its pupil body, who care for a parent, sibling or loved one.
The school was given the Suffolk Young Carers Bronze Award in recognition of the support it gives to its young carer pupils – those aged between nine and 15 who care for, or are affected by, a family member with physical or mental illness, or addiction.
The award is commissioned by Suffolk County Council and run by Suffolk Family Carers to recognise work in supporting young carers, and also aims to help other pupils who may not realise they are young carers by giving them confidence that help is available.
Garry Trott, principal at Westbourne Academy said: “It is vital to our pupils’ wellbeing in the academy and at home that we recognise the daily challenges faced by young carers and work with them and their families to support them in every way possible.
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“Our aim is now for the silver award, with this aim will come further interventions and support for young carers within the academy.”
The school has worked closely with Suffolk Young Carers to help develop and support its pupils, and developed a number of measures.
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Among those were holding regular drop-in meetings at lunch times where pupils can speak to members of staff and advisors from Suffolk Family Carers, and a special system in place to allow young carers to communicate home throughout the day.
The school is now working towards its silver award, which will feature further work in training staff and further support services.
Helen Blight, adviser at Suffolk Young Carers said: “‘It has been a pleasure working with Westbourne since September by increasing the young carer provision.
“I am thrilled that the academy has been able to achieve our bronze award so quickly.
“This has highlighted the important role the young carers play and it has been great to see Westbourne Academy highlight them in such a positive way.
“I look forward to working with the academy as it looks to achieve our silver award.”