The ‘My Time’ Project: Empowering Young Carers

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We’ve all either been through it or may well be going through it right now… growing up!

Throughout everyone’s formative years, there will, of course, be times that will be or have been challenging. Navigating the various challenges presented at school, by friends and, of course, families.  Imagine though, if you can, that on top of the everyday challenges you are under the age of 18 and have unpaid caring responsibilities too.

A young carer could be looking after someone in their family, or a friend, who has a short or long-term illness, a disability, additional or neurodivergent needs, substance misuse or mental health conditions, but they may also care for siblings if a parent/guardian is unable to.

The support young carers provide can be varied, is not always visible and may well not be something they feel comfortable talking about to their peers or want people to know about. This is where the youth service provided youth project called ‘My Time’ comes into play. Established in 2016, My Time provides young carers aged 8 to 18 with access to free activities, in a supported environment, where they can have fun and enjoy precious time away from their responsibilities.

Each week My Time runs youth club sessions for different ages, where young people take part in activities, such as arts/crafts, sports, cooking/baking, dancing, games, movie watching and many more, and the best part is the young people who attend help to choose which activities they would like to do they then organise them too, helping them learn how to stick to an allotted budget and learning valuable life skills at the same time.

Taking part in arts and physical activities has been proven to greatly improve the health and wellbeing of young carers, giving them a break from their home responsibilities and a chance to be children and enjoy themselves but participating in them can often have a financial barrier to families. With this in mind, all activities at My Time are free to access and thanks to a recent grant from The Connect Me: Connecting our Communities Grant Scheme they have been able to expand the type of activities they are able to offer.

Alongside the time away from their responsibilities there is also an additional focus on providing informal learning opportunities to help the young people to develop valuable life skills and support their self-development through different activities. They also have access to a young worker programme, receive visits and hear talks from relevant agencies and get the opportunity to get involved in different campaigns and awareness days.

They also, as is the case of one lovely young person we met, have the opportunity to learn about the conditions of those they may be caring for. As a younger sibling of someone diagnosed with ADHD, we heard first-hand how attending the organised sessions had positively impacted one young person who had been able to learn, alongside others in similar situations, about the differences in their brains and how that caused some of the challenges they have experienced at home. All while also being able to enjoy some unique experiences and making new friends.

If you or someone you know might benefit from the incredible work being done by My Time you can call them on 01534 280515 or email them also if you’d like to donate to the charity which has been set up to support young people you can visit

Weekly Sessions

Monday – Ages 13-17 – at Grands Vaux Youth Centre – 18:00 – 20:30 – Free.

Saturday – Ages 8-12 – at Le Squez Youth Project – 10:00 – 12:00 – Free.

Transport for sessions is available from St. James Centre in St. Helier. Young people must first be referred to the project before attending.

Where can I go for support and advice?

All of the information can be found at

Connect Me: Connecting Our Communities

Connect Me is a Government of Jersey initiative that provides grants of up to £5,000 for projects which increase opportunities for Jersey residents to participate in arts or physical activities for wellbeing. 

Find more info when you click here.

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