As a young carer, I have experienced first hand how difficult it is to care, be in education and hold down a job. It is stressful and for many young carers it is virtually impossible. I was fortunate enough to not be the only carer in my household. My mum and I share the responsibilities that we take on to care for Ryan. My mum has always encouraged me to achieve everything that I could.
Unfortunately, not all young carers have that privilege. Many of the young carers that I know personally are continuously struggling to make ends meet. Knowing this, and experiencing first hand how difficult it can be, has made me even more determined and passionate to advocate for young carers and campaign to ease a little bit of the pressure that comes with caring responsibilities, by alleviating the looming financial burden that young carers so often face.
As a young carer, I have always felt like the responsibilities I take on are just a part of normality and that big sisters should help look after their younger siblings. Ryan needed a lot more care than most children, but it has never been an issue. For me, my brother always comes first. That is why many young carers find it so difficult. Caring is their main priority and therefore so other important priorities such as education become compromised. However, care shouldn’t mean compromise. Young carers need financial support to help allow them access and progress through the opportunities in education that they deserve.
I am extremely proud of the effort and energy that has been put into the Care.Fair.Share. campaign so far. MSYPs from across Scotland are continuously campaigning to raise awareness and gain support to the objectives to improve the lives of Scotland’s young carers. In order for Care.Fair.Share. to be as successful as possible and make a real difference for young carers, we need to keep up our campaigning efforts and ensure as many people as possible pledge their support and push for change. You can add you support to the Care.Fair.Share. Thunderclap here.
The Scottish Youth Parliament has led a number of hugely successful campaigns and as the new membership of 2013-2014 we should strive to ensure this campaign can be just as successful, if not better! Take a look at some of the pictures of support so far.
I am looking forward to attending the 53rd National SYP Sitting next week and getting the chance to hear everyone’s updates about Care.Fair.Share. and find out what’s been happening locally, across Scotland. It will be so encouraging for everyone to hear each others feedback about all the local support the campaign has been receiving.
The National Sittings are such great opportunities for all MSYPs to come together and share our successes, debate on current issues, discuss how we will move forward in 2014 and exceed in achieving our objectives, and each represent the views of our local constituents.
Weeks of preparation, consultation, and planning go into sittings to ensure that MSYPs are representing the thoughts and ideas brought to them by their constituents. It is exciting and often eye opening to hear the various different viewpoints that are voiced by fellow MSYPs on the behalf of their constituents.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Sitting and getting involved in this fantastic weekend. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all MSYPs to keep up their enthusiasm with their campaign efforts and continue to show Scotland’s young carers that we care about them! Don’t forget to get involved in the online discussion about #SYP53.