Carers Week 2021 – story from a young carer
Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates and recognises the vital contribution of the UK’s unpaid carers – supporting family members and friends who are older, have a disability, mental or physical illness or need extra help as they grow older.
This year’s theme is ‘Making Carers Visible and Valued’, and throughout the week we’ve be showcasing some of the personal stories from local carers across the county.
As we head towards the end of Carers Week, we’d like to share one more incredible story from a young carer:-
“Being a young carer isn’t necessarily easy or hard. It was a lot harder growing up because I found that people were more judgmental than understanding. Having cared since I was little it was the norm and it still is now. Being a young carer is a lot more difficult than some people would think it is, some carers can have more demanding physical work, and some can have more mental work….it differs from person to person.
“In my situation, I definitely did a lot more when I was younger because as a kid I definitely had more time than I do now where school is a lot more demanding. To a young carer, in their thoughts, they might not seem to be doing much but just being with the people you care for alone is caring and depending on people’s situations that can be really difficult.
“My family, compared to other families, I would say is understandably different. I don’t find that my friends do as much as I do with my siblings and I’m definitely closer with my family because of my caring role.
“I found that through the stages of growing up caring really has made me a lot more mature and grown up compared to my friends and I have a lot of knowledge about things that could help in the future. Caring for me has been like a life lesson because I know how to care for myself and other people so it won’t be a surprise in the future.
“I also found, growing up, other families did not understand what it was like to live with disabled siblings. In public, people would be, and are still, very judgemental because of the way my brother and sister act; they don’t have the capability to understand and would rather judge. A lot of comments can be quite hateful, I was bullied from the very start of primary school all the way up to year 7 because I would not hide the fact my siblings were disabled, and I was proud to be myself. It was a big learning curve but at least I’ve been myself all the way.
“Something I would like people to know is that caring isn’t just a breeze. At points in life you need a serious break, just to do absolutely nothing and relax. Sometimes there will be good days where we can be the average family, however people should also understand that it is not there place to judge the way that someone cares and to always be kind to everyone because people never truly know what people have to go through every day.”
If you or someone you know is under 18 years old and looking after someone who has a disability, illness or is elderly and frail please contact Crossroads Together and have a chat with Simon on 07801 576326 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org