Oxfordshire Young Carers
We support children and young people aged 0-18 whose life is impacted by the responsibility of care for an adult or sibling

Young Carers Services

The Oxfordshire Young Carers service is currently provided by an in-house Oxfordshire County Council team and a commissioned service provided by Spurgeons. Following a review, the two services will be combined into a single in-house service from 1 April 2017.

The advantages of this include reduced duplication of work, having one ICT system and the opportunity to be more integrated with the new Integrated Children's Service.

We will give you further information in the New Year. Until 1 April 2017 the services will operate as they do now providing services to children with a caring role, their families and the professionals that support them.

If you have any queries, please speak to
Deborah Parkhouse (deborah.parkhouse@oxfordshire.gov.uk) 01865 328239
or Caroline Newbold (caroline.newbold@oxfordshire.gov.uk)

What we do

Oxfordshire Young Carers currently supports over 1500 young carers across Oxfordshire up to age 18. In particular, we:

  • Support schools to deliver the Young Carers school standards
  • Work with other services and support them to deliver group work for Young Carers
  • Refer young carers to one-to-one support via the County Council’s young carer’s support workers
  • Make applications to the Young Carers Support Fund
  • Create regular newsletters and web information for Young Carers throughout the year
  • Information, advice and signposting for all the family
  • Days out to have fun with other children
  • Run a forum for Young Carers to have a voice

Make a Referral

Referrals are received from a wide range of individuals and professionals. They are followed up with a home visit to assess the level of care being provided. Support is targeted so that the young carers with higher caring responsibilities receive the highest level of support.

Self Referral form Professional Referral form

Due to high demand our current response time to arrange a home assessment is approximately 8 weeks.

Funded by

Oxfordshire Young Carers Service

Meet the team

Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills

Children's Service Lead
My name is Sarah and I have been in post as the children's service lead since June 2015 (although I have worked for Spurgeons Young Carers since 2011).
In my  spare time, I play badminton for a local team and run a Brownie pack. I have two cats and two children, so the household is busy and can be very noisy. If I get a moment to myself,  I enjoy reading a good book and watching TV. I am very proud of this team as they demonstrate extreme professionalism and work brilliantly supporting Oxfordshire's young carers.

Sarah Mills

CATHY BISHOP

Senior Project Worker - North
I joined Spurgeons YC recently as a sessional worker and carry out assessments in the North of the county. Outside of work I enjoy travelling, gardening and reading. I have a passsion for India and am a trustee of a charity funding a home and education for destitute and abandoned children in Goa, India.

Sarah Mills

justina petkunaite

Senior Project Worker - (South)
I have come from a Youth Work background joined Spurgeons in October 2014. I juggle this role with my post as a Senior Youth Worker at the Sweatbox Youth Centre in Wantage. In my spare time I enjoy walking my Chihuahuas and teaching them new tricks. I love to do a bit of cooking too.

Sarah Mills

LUKELAND CHAMBERS

Sessional Worker
My name is Luke Chambers I am a nationally qualified community and youth work specialist with over 20 years experience of supporting children, young people and families from diverse backgrounds to access learning opportunities. In my spare time I love to play and make music and explore the great outdoors.

Sarah Mills

SHARON DERBE

Senior Project Worker - West Oxfordshire
I am a Senior Project Worker for Spurgeons, covering West Oxfordshire.  When I am not busy assessing young carers and visiting schools, I like to play badminton with my friends in a bid to appear sporty, catch up with my now huge children and read French books (only the very interesting ones).

Sarah Mills

GEORGINA HICKS

Senior Project Worker - City
I joined Spurgeons in April 2016 as the Senior Project Worker for Oxford City. I am also a youth support worker and I do voluntary work for a local charity that supports families who have children with ASD. In my spare time, I sing in a rock band and love going to see live music. I enjoy reading and watching a good box set.

Sarah Mills

SARA LYFORD-SMITH

Sessional Worker
​So, I am Sara, I am 54, I have two adult children – grown and flown; Helen (28) and David (31). I am separated to my recent partner and divorced from my husband, but I’m happy. My background is in child care, I have been a nursery school teacher (Montessori), a Respite Care Provider for children with Special Needs, a childminder and a nanny.  I have also worked for many years in an office, starting as PA and ending as Office Manager.  I chose to leave the office in order to return to child care; a life in 3D printing was not a match for working with families at any price.
I love the theatre, opera, ballet and zombies.  In addition to Spurgeons I work as an Artists Model and am currently retraining to be a childminder.  I have parachuted solo, abseiled down a windmill and have a passion for snakes.  In contrast I am never happier than when attempting to cook, or when sitting in a warm pub surrounded by friends or family.
In my history I have been a young carer and still care for an older sibling emotionally, and therefore the work I see in Spurgeons is work I greatly admire.

Sarah Mills

DENISE REID

Administrator
​My name is Denise Reid and I recently joined Spurgeons Young Carers in October 2016, as an Administrator.  Previous to this I worked in a small village primary school for many years.  In my spare time I enjoy socialising with friends, theatre and cooking and I am an avid Sports fan and a keen runner.