Published in Features on 12 May 2014

Matter is an online community for young adult carers which has been created by Carers Trust. The Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. With its Network Partners, it aims to ensure that information, advice and practical support are available to all carers across the UK.

Matter aspires to bring together young carers aged 16-25 from across the UK, as well as those who work with young adult carers to connect, share their experiences, and access trusted support via an online space which is safe, fun and inspiring. It is a space to share stories with others and to hear the stories of those with similar experiences. The idea is that young adult carers can share their thoughts and experiences on the website and post videos and pictures to its timeline, much like they would on other social media such as Facebook. It is about conversation, interaction and supporting each other, hence the ability to comment on, and like, others' posts. When posting, the young carers can choose whether what they write is visible to everyone or only visible to other logged-in members.

As well as a timeline of activity, Matter provides Info and Advice pages that are full of tips and articles on various subjects. These are divided into four themes: My Future, My Health, My Rights and My Life. Articles can be clicked on to be read in full and to see what others have said about them.

Matter provides a House Rules section, which offers further guidance on posting, as well as an online community team, which is on-hand to provide support as and when needed, by messaging or email. The site demonstrates how social media can inform, connect-up and empower young adult carers and those that work with them in an interactive and fun way right across the UK.

Visit Matter