Are you looking after someone at home? Text us for support

Sidekick is a confidential helpline for young carers in the UK. Text* or email us about anything that’s bothering you.

*Texting is free if you have free texts included in your mobile plan. If not, it will cost the normal rate charged by your provider.

Need urgent help?

Text 07888 868 059 Email sidekick@actionforchildren.org.uk

This week’s opening hours

  • Monday: 12:30 pm to 7.30 pm
  • Tuesday: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Wednesday – 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Thursday: 12.30 pm to 7.30 pm
  • Friday: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

We aim to reply within 24 hours during these hours. If we’re offline when you message, we’ll get back to you when we reopen.

Need urgent help while we’re away?

  • If you’re worried about your safety, call Childline on 0800 1111.
  • If you need mental health support, text the word SHOUT to 85 258.
  • If you need urgent help from the police or a hospital, dial 999 from any phone

We support young carers aged 13 to 18 in the UK – and up to 25 if you have special educational needs.

It’s okay to get in touch if you’re not sure if you’re a young carer or if you’re younger.

Lots of things!

  • Listen when things feel tough.
  • Talk about your responsibilities at home and what could help.
  • Help with making phone calls, filling out forms or speaking to professionals.
  • Support you with relationship worries with friends or family.
  • Look for extra support for you.

You can ask us anything you like – it will be confidential and there will never be any judgement from us.

Everything you say is confidential.

This means we won’t tell anyone else about the things you tell us, unless we’re worried about your safety or the safety of someone else.

These are the times we might need to tell someone what you’ve told us:

  • If you tell us you are being hurt – physically or emotionally.
  • If another person is being hurt – physically or emotionally.
  • If you or someone else is in danger.
  • If an adult is having an inappropriate relationship with you or another young person.

We might need to tell someone if you tell us or if we think you may be at risk of:

  • Neglect
  • Sexual abuse
  • Domestic abuse
  • Suicide/self-harm
  • Sexual or criminal exploitation
  • Harmful cultural practices like forced marriage
  • Grooming for extremism or being involved in terrorist activity.

We will always try to work with you to help you get the support you need from people around you.

Texting is free if you have free texts included in your mobile plan. If not, it will cost you the rate charged by your mobile provider.

Emailing is free.

Yes! Sidekick coaches are real people with lots of experience listening to and supporting young people.

On our team at the moment, you could be talking to Kylie, Claire or Leanne.

What young carers have said

I feel sort of hidden at school as I don’t think many students are aware of young carers therefore don’t know what we go through. We’re also more prone to being bullied. I want us to be recognised and accepted just like our peers.

Bailie, age 13

They gave a lot of options in how to help and listened to everything I said. Also didn’t judge you.

Anonymous, age 13

This has given me resources to learn about the disability my brother has more. I really appreciate it.

Anonymous