This focus of this article is a qualitative, evaluative study of three Crossroads young carers projects. Focus group discussions took place with 24 young people aged 11-16 years. Data were analysed using a thematic content analysis approach. The themes of the research were: experiences of being a young carer, peer support, opportunities for time out and purposeful activities. The personal characteristics of the participants give rise to a number of worrying conclusions, that relatively young people were found to be undertaking primary caring roles over long periods of time.