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We're Back Soon
28 - 30 June 2024

"Shine Bright, Speak Out"

YCFM is the official radio station of the worlds largest gathering of Young Carers. Tune in on 87.9fm across the festival site in Hampshire and online right here, wherever you are in the world.

This year, the YCF theme is "Shine Bright, Speak Out".

Who is a Young Carer?

A Young Carer is a person aged between 7 and 17 who provides or intends to provide care to another person, loved one or family member. For example, a young person could be caring for a sibling or parent with a disability, mental health, or substance addictions. 

What is the YCF?

The Young Carers Festival (or YCF) was conceived in 1999 when Jenny Frank MBE from the Children's Society wanted to hold a conference with Young Carers to discover their needs.

Pete Cooper from the YMCA thought a conference sounded boring, so they thought a festival would be more fun.

In early summer, 600 young people, all with a caring responsibility, gathered at Fairthorne Manor for a weekend of activities and fun. The Young Carers Festival was born. YCFM have provided the official radio station (we used to be called Express FM) ever since. 

All these years later, the Festival is an unmissable weekend that gives almost 2000 young carers each year, the chance to have fun, unwind, make new friends, try new things, and have their voices heard to influence political change. Event highlights include fireworks opening night, fairground rides, inflatables, live music, arts, crafts, sports and outdoor activities!

Watch through some of the videos to see what goes on and hear the amazing stories from a group of inspirational young people.

Find out more or book by clicking here


Young people have attended over the years.


Meals have been cooked


Average step count per person, each year


Bacon rolls made

Listen Again

The Young Carers Festival, is filled with fantastic stories of amazing young people and the brilliant things they do for the people they love. Listen back to the incredible weekend right here.

Closing Montages

Every year, the festival closes with a special song, filled with memories recorded on the radio station. Here is a small selection of those special moments. 

2005 (first montage we ever made)

2007 (the wettest one ever)



Question Time 2019

Since its beginning in 1999, the YCF has been fundamental in changing the lives of Young Carers and informing government. Twenty years later, we were joined by Caroline Dinage (yes, her Dad is Fred) to talk about what the Government was doing for young carers. 

QT Part 1

QT Part 2

QT Part 3