A TEENAGER from Chudleigh has been speaking about her role as a carer for her sister as part of campaign by the Carers Trust to support young people.

Fourteen-year-old Flo cares for her younger sister Bessie, 12, who has severe learning disabilities.

This means Bessie is between non-verbal and partially verbal while she also has severe autism and drug resistant epilepsy.

Flo helps her with communication and needs to be patient when Bessie is playing rough because she can’t grade pressure.

Flo also helps look after her when she has epileptic seizures.

Bessie can have seizures in the morning which can make it quite tough for Flo ahead of a normal school day. In the future Flo would like to go into politics.

She explained: ‘Sometimes it can be difficult especially if I’ve got a friend over and Bessie comes in and is a bit rough.

‘They don’t always understand. It can just be a tiring sometimes to help her and also go to school.’

Flo’s story is highlighting the campaign launched by the Carers Trust for a Young Carers Covenant is a commitment government, schools, businesses and other organisations can sign up to and help ensure young carers are supported.

As part of the launch, Carers Trust is calling for the UK Government to make it a requirement for all schools to have a young carer lead in place – a staff member responsible for coordinating support for young carers in education.

The UK Government, councils, businesses and schools are being urged by UK charity Carers Trust to sign a landmark new commitment that aims to transform the lives of over one million young and young adult carers.

Inspired by the Armed Forces Covenant, the Young Carers Covenant was launched on Young Carers Action Day, an annual event led by Carers Trust to raise awareness of young and young adult carers, the challenges they face and their need for far greater support.

This year’s Young Carers Action Day theme is Fair Futures for Young Carers.

The Covenant sets out 10 key goals, as well as actions that organisations and individuals can take to help young carers reach their full potential.

Drawn up by young carers with support from Carers Trust, the goals range from ensuring young carers are identified at the earliest possible opportunity to making sure they can access training and employment opportunities.

Carers Trust’s CEO, Kirsty McHugh, said: ‘The lives of young carers in the UK are very different to those of their classmates.

‘Many spend time making sure medication is taken by their loved ones, cooking meals and even running household finances.

‘Without proper support, these huge responsibilities can overwhelm young carers and have a devastating impact on their education and future prospects. ‘Having a young carer lead and a policy setting out what support is available in every school would make a huge difference to their lives, helping to identify and support them.’

Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, said: ‘I am committed to supporting all children to have the best possible opportunities especially young carers who face extra responsibilities and pressures.

‘When I speak to young carers they tell me they often feel misunderstood and invisible. I have been calling for measures to be introduced for young carers to be identified as early possible and I very much welcome this initiative.’