Young carers launch healthy cookbook

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18 young carers from Calderdale will help to launch a new cookbook aimed at supporting the health and wellbeing of young people across West Yorkshire who care for loved ones.

Throughout the region, over 1,500 young carers are registered with services which help them with everyday challenges such as juggling school, friendships, social life and caring for their loved ones.

Young carers aged 6-14 from across the region have worked with West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and Verd de Gris arts – an award-winning creative arts company from Hebden Bridge – to create the Let’s Eat: Young Carers Cookbook.

This highlights the incredible work of young carers and the support available to them, and provides examples of quick and healthy meals they can make easily alongside their other daily responsibilities.

On Thursday 4 November, local young carers will join a range of organisations at the Calderdale launch of the cookbook at Orangebox young people’s centre in Halifax. There will be an interactive session on how to make healthy pizzas. This is part of a roadshow which has so far seen the cookbook launched in Bradford, Harrogate, Leeds, Wakefield and Kirklees.

The cookbook, as well as the launch of the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership Young Carers Support App, was in response to young carers highlighting the need for co-produced resources for young carers to support their health and wellbeing.

Olivia, aged 12, is one of the young carers who took part. She said:

“I love making recipes and recipe books too! I am 12 years old and a cook in my house. I make food that blows your mind…NEVER give up on your cooking skills and don’t put pressure on yourself.”

Cllr Adam Wilkinson, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said:

“I’m thrilled to attend the launch of the young carers cookbook to celebrate the amazing achievements of young carers in Calderdale and across West Yorkshire. Not only for creating a brilliant cookbook that will do so much good, but also the talent and kindness they show every day when caring for their loved ones and balancing school, social lives and the challenges of growing up.


“The cookbook has encouraged fun conversations about healthy food and recipes, helping young people to get into good habits for life. This perfectly complements our Healthy Holidays scheme, which helps to give vulnerable children and young people access to healthy meals and activities during school holidays.”

Tim Ryley and Beate Wagner, Co-chairs of the WY HCP Programme for Children and Young People, said:

“During the pandemic more children and young people have taken on caring roles or have noted an increase in their caring responsibilities. 40% of young carers and 59% of young adult carers say their mental health is worse since the start of the pandemic (Carers Trust, 2021). With 11% of young carers and 19.7% of young adult carers reporting an increase of 30 hours or more in the amount of time they spend caring per week having access to quick and healthy meals has never been more important. Never has it been more important to identify and support young carers to be happy and healthy.”

The Let’s Eat: Young Carers Cookbook will be widely available online, via the Young Carers Support App on the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership website: link)

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