Helping young adult carers

The period between 16 and 25 years of age is a crucial life-stage, where important choices about education and future careers are being made.

Boy in wheelchair kissing sister's cheek, with the words Support Carers In Birmingham

For young adult carers, responsible for caring for a parent, friend or relative (other than their own children) with significant physical or mental health conditions, these choices weigh heavily. Twenty-nine per cent of young carers will drop out of higher education as a direct result of their caring responsibilities.

What's the impact?

As well as often feeling guilt when focusing on their own educational and personal development, young carers also face additional financial concerns to those without caring responsibilities. They may face travel, healthcare or wellbeing costs for those they care for, or may not have the opportunity to afford much-needed respite or relaxation.


Why Birmingham?

The University currently offers a number of Young Carer Awards to assist students with their additional financial responsibilities. Birmingham is committed to offering a world class education to all, no matter their circumstances, and your support can help ensure the 376,000 young adult carers in the UK make the choice of a higher education. 

Katie-Mae, recipient of a Sarah Hawkins Young Carer AwardThe Sarah Hawkins Young Carer Awards

Generously gifted in memory of the late Sarah Hawkins, these awards are the first of their kind to support young carers studying at Birmingham. These pioneering awards provide young carers the extra support they need to help balance their studies and caring responsibilities.

Every year, Sarah's legacy is seeing young carers (like Katie-Mae, pictured) overcome the challenges they face to take their chance at university and pursue their own dreams and aspirations.

The Patricia and Gillian Davies Young Carer Awards

Given in recognition of two sisters, Patricia and Gillian Davies, who attended the University of Birmingham in the years just after the Second World War, while caring for their disabled mother. Both went on to live interesting and rewarding lives. It is hoped that, like Patricia and Gillian, the recipients of these awards will enjoy new opportunities in their lives during and after their time at university.

How you can help

By supporting a young adult carer, you will help to reduce the impact that the financial strain of caring responsibilities has on a young person's ability to access a university education. For further information about this project and how you can help, email