I have been a young carer for around four years now and I enjoy the responsibilities which I take on. I look after my mother who has addiction issues. My day-to-day tasks can be extremely varied. I take on everyday chores such as checking the mail and cleaning the house, but sometimes my responsibilities become more of a challenge. There have been times where I have had to call for an ambulance because my mum has needed help.
As I mentioned, I do enjoy being a young carer and I take great pride in my role. However, sometimes it can also be very challenging. It can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. I am grateful for the level of support which I receive from my support worker and also my counsellor. They help ensure that I stay positive and do my best in my role, even through the challenging times.
I believe there is a lot that needs to be done to improve the standard of living for Scotland’s young carers. There is a lot of pressure on young people such as myself, and I feel that young carers are not recognised by key service providers across Scotland. I have been in situations where I have felt that there is very little recognition and knowledge of the extensive responsibilities and pressures facing young carers. Young carers need to be recognised and there must be accessible methods of support throughout Scotland.
As young people, we have a lot of big decisions facing us and therefore support is a crucial factor in ensuring we have access to the opportunities we wish to take on in order to live our lives to the full.
I have chosen to share my story in support of the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Care.Fair.Share. campaign. I believe in what the campaign stands for and the message that it doesn’t have to be like this. Care doesn’t have to mean compromise.
SYP are campaigning to alleviate the financial strain on young carers. In doing so the campaign is raising awareness of young carers like myself, who currently face compromise because of the responsibilities we take on in order to provide care and support for our loved ones. I’d like to encourage others to lend their support to this campaign and share your story. Make sure that young carers are visible and heard through this campaign and together we can make a significant change which will positively impact on the lives of these young people. You can pledge your support for Care.Fair.Share. by joining the SYP’s Thunderclap here.