Unpaid carers under the age of 18 across Cumbria are being encouraged to create short films about their experiences.

Cumbria is home to over 8,000 young individuals providing care for family members or friends.

The undertaking often remains unnoticed by the carer's school teachers and peers. To help share their stories, Carer Support Cumbria is hosting a competition. Entrants are to create a 90-second to 15-minute film on their lives as young carers, with three age categories spanning ages 5 to 18.

The organisation is supporting these young carers through a variety of means, spanning from assistance with education and family issues to counselling and financial or logistical support.

Films can be crafted with three styles in mind:

  • For Instagram reels, entries should be filmed portrait style and be up to 90 seconds long.
  • Facebook entries should be landscape and also fall under the 90-second requirement.
  • For the Carer Support Cumbria website, films can be up to 15 minutes in length and should be in landscape format.

CEO of Carer Support Carlisle and Eden, Dr Dani Leslie said: "This is their opportunity to be heard. To tell their story, their way. We will be posting your mini-movies on our social media and websites to highlight what being a young Carer is really like."

CEO of Carer Support South Lakes, Debi Marsden said: "Our competition provides a platform for young people to tell their stories and be heard in spaces they can’t usually access. We can only imagine what it is like to be at school, trying to keep up with exams and coming home to provide care for a family member seven days a week, 356 days a year. Growing up is challenging and young Carers have the added responsibilities of caring for someone else as well."

CEO of Carer Support West Cumbria, Sharon Sewell said: "It will be interesting to hear and see what the young Carers say in their own words and in their own way through the videos."

CEO of Carer Support Furness, Craig Backhouse said: "We hope our young Carers will take the challenge and their mini-films will be featured on our social media and website, to give them a voice."

The competition's last entry will be accepted by 5pm on April 7, 2024.

For additional details about the contest or the services offered, individuals can visit www.carerssupportcumbria.org.uk.