Memo's from Sophia Nicholls, Executive Secretary of ASNA.

ASNA's first vision blog

On the 1-7th February this year, the UK celebrated Children's mental Heath week . The theme for the week was 'Express yourself'. Children living with siblings and family members with disabilities or special needs / long term illness often identify as Young Carers. Mental health and emotional health is of great concern for young children and young people.

ASNA wants to see a world where all children have the chance to be a child without the pressures and challenges that may lead to emotional and mental health issues.

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled, has a mental health condition or misuses drugs or alcohol. Many experience difficulties in managing their caring responsibilities and school / college work. Some fall behind with their education with a potential effect on their future employment opportunities. Others experience health challenges.

Children with siblings (with disabilities) express the lack of attention from parent. This can lead to resentment and loss of self worth. This is why ASNA hosts annual breaks for young people in challenging circumstances related to disabilities.

SYCAF (Siblings, Young Carers and Friends) - the ASNA week-long summer holiday retreat, usually held in the month of August (Government restrictions permitting) aims to bring young people together with a friend to 'be children and young people' without the challenges of every day life. SYCAF creates safe places where young people are able to share their feelings and emotions and discuss strategies to adapt avoiding negative mental and physical pressures.

SYCAF is supported by trained volunteers who are able to create these fun and safe places for young people.

Our vision is to see all young people striving to reach their potential no matter their circumstances.

How can you support our vision?

If you would like to help ASNA create these spaces, here are 3 ways you can help. You can make a donation to our Gofundme page. We are raising £20,000 as part of our 20 years and counting campaign towards SYCAF and other online and residential respite breaks.

  1. £200 will go towards supporting a young to attend the S