Young carers in Cumbria are being invited to create a short film about their lives as unpaid carers.

More than 8,000 people under the age of 18 in the area provide care for a loved one without pay, often unknown to their peers and teachers.

To provide these youths a platform to share their experiences, Carer Support Cumbria has launched a competition where participants will use smartphones and create a short 90-second to 15-minute film about their lives.

Dr Dani Leslie, chief executive officer of Carer Support Carlisle and Eden, said: "This is their opportunity to be heard. To tell their story, their way.

"We will be posting your mini-movies on our social media and websites to highlight what being a young carer is really like."

Debi Marsden, chief executive officer of Carer Support South Lakes, said the competition allows these carers to be heard in spaces they can’t usually access.

She said: "We can only imagine what it is like to be at school, trying to keep up with exams and coming home to provide care for a family member seven days a week, 356 days a year.

"Growing up is challenging and young Carers have the added responsibilities of caring for someone else as well.”

Sharon Sewell, chief executive officer of Carer Support West Cumbria, said it will be interesting to hear and see what the young carers say in their own words and in their own way through the videos.

The competition has three age categories for entrants, which are five to seven, eight to 10, and 11 to 18.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Sunday, April 7.

Themed My Life, participants can create films in three styles; Instagram reels, Facebook, or for the Carer Support Cumbria website - each with different lengths and formatting requirements.

Craig Backhouse, chief executive officer of Carer Support Furness, said: "We hope our young carers will take the challenge and their mini-films will be featured on our social media and website, to give them a voice."

Carer Support Cumbria provides support services to young carers including one-to-one support to help with their schooling, education or family support, counselling, finance or transport issues, or group support opportunities.

For more information about the competition and Carer Support services, go to