Shocking Facts about Young Adult Carers in the UK

What is a young adult Carer?

Young Adult Carers are between the ages of 18yrs – 25yrs, and look after a relative or friend, of any age, due to disability, chronic/terminal illness, mental health problem or an alcohol or drug addiction / dependency.

We know that Caring for another individual is a selfless act, even if the Carer is a close friend or relative. Everybody has a choice to Care, but that doesn’t mean the same Carers can choose to have a life for themselves as well. The reality of Caring is that young adult Carers face bigger difficulties in areas that other young adults take for granted.

Studies have shown some shocking insights into the lived experiences of young carers who become young adult carers. These facts from a 2010 survey really put the realities of life as a young adult Carer into perspective.

Did you know:

Based on Census figures, there are estimated to be at least 376,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 16–25.

56% of young adult carers in college or university were struggling because of their caring role. 17% said they may have to drop out for reasons associated with their caring role and 13% said that they may have to drop out for financial reasons. Young adult carers appear to be four times more likely to have to drop out of their college or university course than other students.

45% of young adult carers reported that they have mental health problems.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young adult carers in Scotland reported extremely high levels of bullying. 83% had personally experienced bullying in school, 40% in college and 27% at university. 88% reported to have, or to have had, mental health problems.

Those are some incredibly shocking figures.

They go a long way to showing us just how disadvantaged young adult Carers can be, despite saving the country a whopping amount of money.

According to Carers UK 2015 statistics, the care provided unpaid, by the nations’ carers, is worth an estimated £119bn per year – considerably more than total spending on the NHS in England.

So despite helping save the UK billions by providing care for loved ones, young adult Carers are still up to FOUR TIMES as likely to drop out of education, more prone to have mental health issues, and are more prone to experience financial difficulties.

Of those who make it to university or college, almost 60% will struggle because of their role as a Carer.

That is why 4SX are so privileged to be running the Big Lottery funded project, Essex Carers – The Way to Work. If traditional opportunities for self-development are not working for high percentages of young adult Carers, then we can offer them something outside of the box.

If you are a Carer and would like to know more about how we can help you access training and education – with practical, real-life solutions – give us a call on 01268 923912, or email us at

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