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January 2011

Newsletter - Issue 1...

Inside this Issue: Young Advisors Group (4) Caring for Depression (7)

We have a winner

Get Involved (10)

We asked over 200 young people in Taunton Deane their opinions on what logo they liked best (out of six designs) and why. The winner with a landslide victory was the ‘holding hands’ logo, and the students at Richard Huish College and Somerset College said they liked it because it represented the purpose of Caring Minds; it showed that we were inclusive, and it is appealing to all ages from small children to teenagers. Two events were held at the colleges’ freshers fayre’s, and students were given prize draw entry forms to win a £30 voucher of their choice. Students were able to tick boxes about themselves on the forms, and from this, we were not surprised to see that ten per cent of students said they were carers for someone with a mental health issue, or were currently living with someone with a mental health issue. Continues on page 3.

Who is this for?  Any young person living with, or caring for som eone with a mental health issue  Professi onals & Org anizations in Taunton Dea ne  Friends of Caring Min ds

Contents 5 Somerset Rural Youth Project Participation 6

What’s in the news?

BBC report on Young Carers 6

Take a break

Word Search 7 2


Introduction to Caring Minds 3

Logo Competition cont

The winning Logo and winner. 3

Who’s Who?

Book Review 10 Recipes 11 Special Achievements 11 Volunteering Opportunities Become a director for Caring Minds 12 Useful Websites


Websites for Young Carers

Support Caring Minds

How to donate to Caring Minds

13 Mission Statement


Websites for Young Carers


Young Advisors Group

Living with the Black Dog

What is depression?

A Caring Mind’s perspective

What it feels like to care for someone with depression

Staff & Volunteer bios 4

Spotlight on ‘depression’


“Thanks for everything”

A poem dedicated to young carers

What is it & how to join


13 Suggestions Give us some feedback, or make suggestions 13 Sign up Sign up to our newsletter 14 Contact Details

Caring Minds C.I.C. is a social enterprise established in 2010. It is dedicated to supporting children and young people who live with, or care for someone with a mental health issue (who are sometimes referred to as ‘Young Carers’). It was established out of the experience of its founder Natasha, who experienced this role as many do in relative isolation, feeling her situation to be unique. Natasha has had several family members with mental health issues ranging from Schizophrenia to Dementia to Obsessive Compulsive DisDID YOU KNOW? order (OCD). As a young carer, she felt that no-one understood what she was experiencing, she didn't tell many people, and so was not recognised or supported in her Over eighty role. Natasha feels that no-one should have to feel this thousand children way.

and young people are looking after someone with a mental health problem in Britain. Page 2

Many young people do not consider themselves as young carers, and so often miss out on vital support. For this reason Caring Minds is open to anyone in Taunton Deane who lives with someone with a mental health issue, as well as ‘Young Carers’.


Logo Competition cont. ‌. The winner of our prize draw was Sian at Richard Huish College, who choose to have a Topshop voucher, which I am sure was well spent. Thank you to everyone who voted, and gave their feedback, it was much appreciated :) Right: The winning logo Left: Sian (our prize draw winner)

Who’s Who? Natasha (Director) has worked in a variety of mental health settings: From supported housing schemes to inpatient wards. Currently as well as developing Caring Minds, Natasha works as a young person's advocate at Advocacy in Somerset, advocating for children and young people with both mental health issues as well as those at risk of truancy and exclusion. Jennie (Secretary) studied Psychology and Health and Social Care at college before deciding to move into accounts. As well as volunteering as the Secretary for Caring Minds, Jennie works for Somerset Care where she is studying for a Diploma in Accounting.

Caring Minds

Kirsten (Student Volunteer) is and on placement with Caring Minds, as part of her university course. She is studying for a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care and also works as a support worker. Her role involves a variety of things, including assisting in policy writing, helping to run YAG meetings and assisting in putting together funding bids. Jake (Graphic Designer) is currently studying a art and design course, his work can be seen throughout this newsletter which has included designing the Caring Minds logo. Matt (Child Protection Officer) has supported mental health carers within his family, and is using his experience with Caring Minds to pursue a change of career to work with children & young people.

Glyn (Fundraiser) owns a Taunton based carpet cleaning businesses, and supports Caring Minds by donating a proportion of his proceeds, as well as encouraging other Taunton businesses to join him by placing collection boxes in local shops. Jan (Child Protection Officer & Editor) has extensive experience in working with carers, and was a young carer herself. In her early career she was a newspaper reporter, and now in addition to her many volunteer roles, Jan supports dyslexic students.

If you would like to join our team, go to page 11.

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Meet the Young Advisors “I got involved with Caring Minds as I care for Kelly my nan and mum who have depression. Car16 years old ing Minds has shown me that I am not alone Children’s Care at Somerset College. and there are people who want to help me. I Her mum and nan who have depression have been through a lot and as a result sometimes become ill for a while myself. I want to offer my support and guidance to those who are going through what I am and have gone through. I want to be able to show that Caring Minds are here to listen and help as much as possible. That’s what I intend to do, along with the help and support from Caring Minds.” Name: Age: Studying: Cares for:

Name: Emma Age: 17 years old Studying: A Levels (Sociology, Health and Social Care, English Language and Biology) at Richard Huish College. Cares for: Her nan who has depression “I have joined Caring Minds as I would like to offer support and opportunities for Young Carers in Taunton. This comes after my Gran got diagnosed with a brain tumour four years ago and since then has had 3 major operations to her brain. Understandably she is now suffering from depression, so my family and I have to offer a lot of support, including taking her shopping, and checking up on her regularly to make sure she is eating. As a result of this I feel that I need to support children in similar situations and make sure that they know they are never alone and there are always people for them to talk to about their situation.”

To be a Young Advisor you must: Be aged between 15 and 18 years old. Live in the Taunton Deane area of Somerset

en ExhiGingerbread m Fig (Bath bition @ Ginger e their Place) to celebrat e it from 3rd birthday. Se ary Friday 28th Janu bruary. Saturday 12th Fe ort the Come and supp YAG’s efforts!

Either live with, or care for someone with a mental health issue. Some of the things we have been doing over the last few sessions are:

Publishing this newsletter Thinking about what it feels like to be a Young ‘Mental Health’ Carer Looking at fundraising & publicity ideas such as making a video Finding out we are not alone (celebrity carers such as Tulisa from N-Dubz) Page 4

See page 13 for more Newsletter

YAG Meetings The Young Advisors Group: We are a small group of young volunteers, and we meet once a fortnight on the SRYP (Somerset Rural Youth Project) minibus Some of the things coming up are:

If you are interested why not come along to one of our next meetings? Just send a text, or call Natasha on: 0777718496 to find out more!!!!!

Interviewing new Staff Thinking about what we would like in a new Youth Group Designing leaflets and posters

Dates of our next meetings are:

Helping to write funding bids (so we can get some money to start a Youth Group) Some of the perks are: Accreditation; Sharing experiences; Building confidence; making friends; designing stuff; interviewing staff; laughing; getting certificates; Learning new skills and gaining experience.

Tuesday 8th February 2011* Tuesday 22nd February 2011* Tuesday 8th March 2011* All meetings start @ 6:30pm in the SRYP minibus in the Vivary Park car park (next to the golf course).

Somerset Rural Youth Project {SRYP) “My name is Steve Baker and I work for Somerset Rural Youth Project. My work involves helpCollaborating with SRYP - What a great ing young people express their idea! Caring Minds have joined forces views, finding out what their with Somerset Rural Youth Project ideas are and doing something (SRYP) to ensure participation is number to put their ideas into action. one on our agenda. Affiliating has meant I am involved with Caring Minds that we have been able to tap into the because I want to support young people who care for peoexperience and resources that SRYP has ple with mental health illnesses. to offer (we have our Young Advisor It is important that young peogroup meetings on their minibus). We ple have a voice and the opportunity to raise awarewant to say a big thank you to the supness of things that matter to them - and many port and commitment of Steve Baker in young carers often struggle on alone. Helping particular, for all his effort and enthusiyoung carers speak out will help to raise awareness asm in helping us to set up the Caring of the issues they face and start to make a difference Minds Young Advisors Group to young people across Taunton Deane.” Page 5


What’s in the News?

The BBC ‘Kids Who Care’ research has uncovered more than four times more young carers than were previously identified in the 2001 census. But what does this mean in Taunton Deane? The same census showed that in Taunton Deane there were 228 young carers. So this means there are more likely to be a thousand young carers, of which a third are predicted to be caring for someone with a mental health issue. Why were the figures so wrong? The census (which is a questionnaire that gets sent out every ten years) asked parents to complete the answers on behalf of their children. It also didn’t ask about stigmatized conditions, such as caring for someone with mental health issues or substance misuse, which people are often scared or embarrassed to admit. All of this

meant that only a quarter of young carers were identified. The BBC report revealed many more young carers as it surveyed secondary school pupils directly in over 4,000 schools. From this they found that one in 12 pupils reported moderate or high levels of care responsibilities.

Take a break!

Caring Minds

































Spotlight on ‘depression’ What is it? Depression is quite a common illness. There are many things which can increase the risk of developing it including; other illnesses, stress, alcohol, drug abuse, and personality traits. Depression can affect people of any age, including children. Roughly 4% of children aged 5-16 in the UK are affected by depression. Adult women are more likely to have depression than men; which is possibly because women can be at risk of developing post- natal depression after giving birth. People with a history of depression in their family are more likely to experience depression themselves. Depression can affect people in many ways, and there are many physical, psychological (mental) and social symptoms, including withdrawal, tearfulness, disturbed sleep patterns, reduced hobbies and interests etc. There are many ways to help yourself if you think that you may have depression. It is important to take your medication, even if you begin to feel better as it can prevent you relapsing back into depression again. Most importantly you should try to remain active and eat well, as exercise can be as effective as antidepressants at reducing the symptoms. Being active lifts your mood and reduces stress and anxiety. It also improves your self- esteem. Eating a healthy diet maintains your mental health as it protects physical health problems from occurring. Eating too much fatty foods can make you feel sluggish therefore reduces any enthusiasm for an active lifestyle. While fruits and vegetables help your body remain healthy through the vitamins within them. Therefore it increases any enthusiasm for activity which subsequently helps to lift your mood. With the right treatment and support, most people can make a full recovery from depression. If you feel you may have depression it is important to seek advice from your GP, or call NHS Direct. By Emma (Taunton), aged 17

Support Caring Minds If you would like to support the work of Caring Minds, and donate to a cause which is local to you, why not set up a Direct Debit for as much as you are able to give: Sort Code: 09-01-27

Account: 81274693

Or, send a cheque to our head office address on the back of this newsletter. Any donation will be gratefully received, and will go towards the running associated with the Young Advisors Group. Page 7


A Caring Mind is a young person that lives with, or supports another person who is experiencing mental health issues.

a caring minds perspective How does it feel to care for someone with depression...? Caring for someone with depression takes patience and a fair amount of dedication. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially being young. You can try and make things better for the person you care for, but in the end it is only them that can change the way they are feeling. All you can do is be there; in my case to love and support that person. You yourself can quiet easily become trapped in isolation when caring for someone with depression; as your own feelings and well-being can become pushed to one side and focus on the person in need. In my case it was my Mum and my Nan. I was totally alone and coping for two people without any assistance. However although some effects of caring can be negative I felt really proud and devoted to them because I love them both and to be able to help them when they needed it most and when no one else wanted to is an amazing feeling. By Kelly (Taunton), aged 16.

DID YOU KNOW? 1 in 4 carers are mental health carers – this means 1 in every 40 people is a mental health carer

If you have any concerns about anyone, or yourself, call NHS Direct in confidence, or speak to your GP or health proffessional.

Prevention not cure With cuts to services left, right and centre, we are moving into an age where organizations thresholds will rise, and services will be less able to work preventatively, instead the will be forced to react to crises situations.

the first place.

For this purpose Caring Minds pledge that they will not restrict services to those who are ‘Young Carers’, but instead work with any young person who is living with, or carOften, just a small amount of support early on ing for someone with a mental health issue. can reduce inappropriate caring occurring in

Caring Minds

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“Thanks for everything” A poem dedicated to all young carers: Because i've never been able to say this to your face, i'm writing it down here... Because you took the pieces of my life and you made me whole again, Because you didn't know what to do for me, you were exactly what I needed, Because you came in with an open mind, i've now got an open heart, Because you were completely there for me, I can walk tall today, Because you were yourself back then, i've become myself today, Because what I did never put you off, I know you truly care, Because you've stuck around with me, I know you meant it all, Because you always made me laugh, i've learnt how to smile, Because you didn't make me feel bad about the fact I felt bad, Because I could scream and kick and shout, but never had the courage to say: I love you, thank you. Anon, 2010

Living with a BLACK DOG A picture book visually representing what it is like to live with someone with depression the ‘BLACK DOG’ I give this book five stars because it clearly shows what it is like to be living with someone with depression and how it can make you feel as a carer. I would recommend this to other young people because it gives you an insight on how our actions as carers can make those suffering from depression feel. It clearly shows that depression can make a person nonresponsive and the person may become very weak and not want to do much. This book clearly states that we all need to have a lot of patience and care for those suffering from depression and although some of the actions you receive as a carer may concern you and make you feel unwanted or unappreciated that it is not them talking, it is just the affects of the depression, which can make them less affectionate to their close relatives or friends. However it doesn’t mean the carer is doing a bad job. Great book!! By Kelly (Taunton), aged 16. Page 9


Recipes Cheesy Bake One bag of spinach (baby leaf) 6 large eggs 425ml milk Some English mustard powder (about a tablespoon) 3 thick slices of bread 200g of cheese (grated) Some cherry tomatoes Butter Salt A deep ovenproof dish A colander A kettle with boiling water A bowl A food processor or hand-held blender A grater

Heat the oven to 190째C / Gas Mark 5. Rub butter around the ovenproof dish (you can do this by getting a piece of kitchen roll, rubbing it in the butter packet and then spreading over the ovenproof dish). Ensure there is an even layer all over this dish. This will stop your food sticking. Tip your bag of spinach into the colander and pour the boiling water from the kettle over it. Leave this in the sink to drain. Break your eggs into a bowl, pour in your milk and then add the mustard powder and a pinch of salt. Tear your slices of bread up and put into the bowl. Allow to soak in the mixture for a moment. Then, using your food processor or handheld blender, whizz the mix until it is smooth. Tip into your oven proof dish Add about three quarters of your grated cheese to this smooth mixture and stir it in. Add the tomatoes. Sprinkle the last of the grated cheese over the top and then bake in the over for around half an hour until it rises and goes a golden brown colour. Allow this to cool before serving.

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake! A quick and easy desert ready in just five minutes, for when you just need cake. 4 tablespoons flour 4 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa 1 egg 3 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons oil 1 large coffee mug

Caring Minds are sharing more recipies on MyDish search for us!

Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa) to mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts /high. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. Caring Minds

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Special Announcements Congratulations to Jake Derrick and Kirsten Dicks who have completed their vfifty awards for completing fifty hours of volunteering for Caring Minds.

Volunteer Opportunities Do you have a passion for working with young people? Do you have experience of living with, or caring for someone with a Mental Health issue? Would you like to support young people who do? Would you like to be part of this innovative service? BOARD OF DIRECTORS*: We are not only looking for people with experience within the field, we are also looking for people who bring a wide range of skills and experience to the role. If you are over 18 and would be interested in volunteering as a director, please request an information pack. ** A minimum commitment of one meeting every two months is required

ADULT VOLUNTEERS*: As an organisation in its infancy, currently without funding, Caring Minds needs volunteer's to make their dream a reality. The first priority is to establish the idea's and needs of it's beneficiaries. Any experience in participation, or grant writting is highly disirable.

INDEPENDENT ADVISORY PANEL*: Caring Minds are looking for panel members for this new social enterprise’s steering group, to put its vision into practice in Taunton Deane. If you are a professional, with an interest in Young ‘Mental Health’ Carers then please contact us. * All post require a satisfactory Enhanced criminal records bureau check

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If you would like to find out any more information contact Natasha on 07737718496, or for an information pack e-mail


Useful Websites: for Young ‘Mental Health’ Carers - Of course our website :) - An online community-style site for young carers of all types. There are advice boards and chats available. - Somerset Carer’s Network support website. Somerset Carers Network offers advice and support for people who are carers across Somerset. - The Princess Royal Trust for Carers - loads of information is on here! - General mental health advice with a specialist section regarding carers and young carers. – Mind in Taunton and West Somerset. This is the local branch of the Mind charity. Information on the latest news, projects & publications. – Uthink, the charity Rethink’s young persons’ site. Here you can find advice and helpful downloads as well as interactive games and music recommended by other young people.


DID YOU KNOW? 1 in 5 people have dandruff, but 1 in 4 people will be living with mental illness.

Caring Minds - Website aimed directly at young peoples’ mental health and wellbeing. There is up-todate information on here, as well as having an advice line to talk. – This is the Department of Health’s mental health section which is full of useful advice. This site is a Government one so it is very factual and may be more suited to older young people. – the NHS Direct website, it’s full of all sorts of health related information, including who to contact and where, and how to do so. Page 12

ement t a t S n o i s s i M

Watch out for our donation boxes around shops in Taunton Deane!

n and young provide childre the inherent to ts is ex . I.C C. Caring Minds an ‘escape’ from with a mental pport for, and r someone people with su ith, or caring fo individuals to be w g in liv of s pressure abling ur focus is on en choose to health issue. O the amount of ‘caring’ they d facilitating ith an t w e suppor on comfortable o-t e on g in provid nal well-being, undertake; by crease emotio by providing in to is al go ur peer-support. O e, whilst enriching their lives alise. Caring nc lie si re ild lax and soci bu d an lop life skills, re fulfilling its mission. ve de to es iti ntral to opportun rticipation as ce Minds views pa


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Contact Us! REGISTERED OFFICE: 33 Mountfields Road Taunton, Somerset TA1 3BL

07737718496 Community Interest Company: 07267691

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