Young Carers Awareness Day

30 Jan 2020

Today is Young Carers Awareness Day, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the challenges faced by young carers and campaigns for greater support for them.

We're sharing the below story from a young carer at Jewish Care but we've purposefully hidden their name to protect their identity.

"My Dad was diagnosed with a degenerative and terminal disease in 2015, he was 53 years old. I was 11 and my sister 9. My dad lost his job and mum found herself having to do it all, go to work, look after dad and look after us. Immediately my fun and happy family changed. I remember mum making lots of phone calls and going to loads of meetings. One of them was Jewish Care to meet with the Family Carers team. My Dad goes to a Jewish Care Day Centre but Jewish Care don't just help my Dad, they also watch over the three of us. We meet the Family Carers team regularly and my sister and I write about being Young Carers.

For me, being a Young Carer means being less of a child. I spend so much of my time trying to help and support the person that I care for, that I don't usually have time to think for myself. Whilst my friends hang out in the evening, I'm usually at home, helping with chores, cooking dinner, studying and always making sure that my dad is safe. When my friends ask me to come out with them, I'm always given a time and place. I've tried to explain that my caring role comes first and it would be so much easier if, instead, I could let them know what times I can make. It's small changes like these that reassure me that I'm not invisible to the rest of the world. Just be there for a chat, I need you, but if you don't want to really listen, well that's alright too, I'll be ok. Don't ask me how I am - I'll always say I'm fine. Perhaps just ask me how my night was? And don't tell me how sorry you are for me, just tell me how proud you are of me."
Please call our helpline on 0202 8922 2222 or email helpline@jcare.org if you or someone you know requires advice or support from our Family Carers team.