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Derby teenager Lauren Moor puts Nick Clegg on spot over cuts

February 8, 2014 1:50 PM
By Chris Mallett in Derby Telegraph
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Nick CleggDerby teenager Lauren Moor put the Deputy Prime Minister on the spot on Friday morning when she asked him how government spending cuts will affect young carers like herself during a live radio phone-in.

Lauren Moor, 17, has helped care for her physically disabled brother, Thomas, since she was five years old and takes it in turns with her parents to feed him, wash him, set up his ventilator and administer his medication.

She is one of 66 young carers supported by Action for Children's Derby Young Carers service, and one of 244,000 people under 19 years old in England and Wales known to be caring for relatives.

The Alvaston teenager wants to raise awareness of the issues facing young carers and decided to call into LBC Radio's 'Call Clegg' programme to ask Nick Clegg about the issue.

She said: "What plans does the Government have to make sure young carers like me are properly identified and supported, especially now the budgets for social services have been cut so much?"

Mr Clegg said: "The way carers help out is a fantastic thing. Support is provided through local authorities primarily and they are under strict guidance over the support they have to give and there are national rules in place.

"We are trying all we can even though councils are having to make difficult savings to make sure the rights of carers are protected.

"We also want to make sure the health service's support works better with that. We have made a fund of £3 billion available to make sure the care system and health system work together better."

Lauren said: "I'm really lucky to have the support of Action for Children but I know thousands of young carers, some as young as five or six, do not.

"I wanted Nick Clegg to realise that there are children in this country who have big responsibilities and need help.

"I was quite encouraged by what he said but am still worried any change will take too long to happen for lots of young carers."

Emma Horne, director of children's services at Action for Children, said: "It was fantastic to hear Lauren speak out on behalf of young carers across the country.

"We know there are around 244,000 people under 19 years old caring for relatives; however, in reality these figures may be higher, as many young carers are not recognised in society or statistics.

"With such high numbers of young people taking on a caring role we need to identify young carers from an early stage. It is vital we assess their needs and provide them with support, whilst also giving them the same rights as adult carers."