Life as a young carer: Taylor's story

Tuesday 17 October 2023
Taylor 16 year old young carer

Today, we're spotlighting Taylor, a 16-year-old young carer. We spoke to Taylor and her mother, Donna, about the impact of being a young carer and how Action for Children has supported her.

Becoming a young carer

When Taylor was young, her mum, Donna, was involved in a horse-riding accident which left her with lower back pain. Donna’s condition got worse over the years, and she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Taylor, who was nine at the time, said “it was a relief when we found out my mum was able to get the right help for her condition, after having lived with the pain for so long.”

“That’s when I started helping mum. I would help her get ready in the morning before going to school. I would make her breakfast, help her shower, dress her, and do her hair. If she was having a particularly bad day, I would help with medication too. This was our routine, and it was like that for a while.”

I’d never realised how much pain mum was in throughout the day and how much help she really needed.

"There were times when she could barely stand, and I had to help her down the stairs. It was one of the hardest things to see. She was such a vibrant and active person and to see her like that was awful.”

At the same time, Taylor, was struggling with her personal life. She began questioning her sexuality and was getting bullied at school. This took a toll on her mental health and led to her mother making the decision to take Taylor out of school and begin home schooling.

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Taylor said: “I had lost all my friends and I was barely leaving the house. I had never felt so alone. I was going through so much at the time and I felt like I had no one to turn to. My mental health plummeted, I was in a bad place. There were times when I didn’t know if I wanted to be here anymore.”

Taylor's lifeline

A lifeline came for Taylor when social services made a referral to Action for Children’s Rhondda Cyon Taf (RCT) young carers service.

Taylor said: “They told me that I am classed as a young carer, and I had never considered it before. I was put in touch with one of the team from the service and everything changed for me.”

“The worker would come to see me and encourage me to leave the house… Initially, I really didn’t want to go. Following my bad experience in school, I thought people wouldn’t be open to the fact that I’m gay and it was so nerve-wracking.”

Taylor eventually decided to go to the group, which she describes as “one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Not a lot of people understand what it’s like to be a young carer, so to find people who do is rare.”

“It felt euphoric – it really brought me back out of my shell. Before the young carers group, I really had no friends but now I have so many.”

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Introducing Young Carers Aloud

Young carers aloud choir singing in a house

Taylor has recently started attending Stagecoach, as she has a passion for the performing arts. This has led to an invitation to join Young Carers Aloud choir.

“I think back to the times when I’ve felt so low and alone and it feels surreal. I’m in such a different place now. I’ll always be there for my mum but having things like the choir help me get out there and do what I want to do makes me so happy.”


We also spoke to Donna, Taylor’s mum, who describes her daughter as her ‘rock’. She said, “things were really bad when we took Taylor out of school. She was suffering with anxiety and having panic attacks.”

“When Taylor started getting support from RCT young carers, it was amazing. I never fully realised how much things had been affecting her, but the young carers group has really helped her come into her own and open up.”

Donna finished by adding: “Being a part of the young carers choir means so much to Taylor. I just want her to go out there and make a life for herself and not be held back, worrying about me. She will always be there for me, and I will always be there for her.”

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Give young carers a childhood

Access to family help and breaks makes a real difference to the children we help.

Help young carers

Taylor’s story highlights how being a young carer can impact someone’s life. But it also reminds us of how much of a difference we can make by supporting them. It shows that when we help them, their lives can change for the better, and that’s something we should all be a part of.

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