Ermine Primary Academy are proud to become the first school in the county to receive the Lincolnshire Carers Quality Award for their support network for young carers.
The Lincolnshire Carers and Young Carers Partnership (LCYCP) was set up in April 2008 to develop an inclusive approach to working with carers and partners. LCYCP gives carers and partners the opportunity to become involved in making the Lincolnshire Joint Carer’s Strategy 2014-18 a reality, and help shape the Carer’s Agenda, by providing a forum for debate in the form of quarterly meetings and Carer Roadshow events, collating evidence on carer views and opinions and contributing to the design and development of services with a ‘by carers for carers’ vision.
• It supports unpaid carers, partners and commissioners, acting as a voice for carers in Lincolnshire. LCYCP Ltd was established as a limited company in 2013, which gave independence to the partnership, and was registered as a charity in December 2015.
During a special assembly on Monday (23rd May), the school received the Lincolnshire Carers Quality Award from the Lincolnshire Carers & Young Carers Partnership (LCYCP). Ermine Primary Academy is one of the trailblazer sites for the Young Carers in Schools programme in the UK, which works towards building, sharing and recognising support for young carers in schools.
Staff at EPA have been working with the LCYCP for the last five months to gain the accreditation. This recognises commitment to identifying and supporting unpaid carers, although the school has had initiatives in place to support pupils who are carers since 2010. Sarah Thompson, the school’s dedicated Behaviour Mentor and Carers Lead, and include a homework club so that carers have time to themselves to complete their schoolwork, as well as weekly meetings.
Sarah said: “I’m here at any time during the school day so the children can come and chat to me and raise any concerns they may have. We try to make school life for our young carers as enjoyable as possible, especially as some of them are as young as five. We look after children up to the age of 11 here and it’s a vital service; we make sure they know how very proud of them we are every day.”
The academy also provides respite for its young carers whenever possible by taking them out of the school environment for day trips and welcomes sponsorship from individuals and organisations in order for this to continue.
Sarah added: “We’re hoping that this award will give us greater recognition within the community for our extra-curricular activities and support for young carers. We’re always very grateful to anyone who can provide sponsorship as we take the children out on leisure trips, which is something they might not otherwise be able to enjoy.”
Julie Goy, Quality Development Lead for the LCYCP, presented the award at her former primary school.
She said: “It has been a pleasure working with Ermine Primary Academy throughout the last few months and helping them towards becoming the first school in the county to receive the Quality Award. Sarah is extremely good at what she does and works hard to provide care for the carers themselves. The school is very lucky to have her and have such good support in place for their young carers.’’
Julie added: “The Lincolnshire Carers Quality Award scheme continues to run for schools, businesses and organisations and we’d love to hear from those who’d like to get involved.”