"I started caring for my mother when I was eight, but I’ve lived with my disabled father since I was born. My father doesn’t stay with me now, but I do go and help out. It had a big impact when I was younger. It was the same pattern up until Year 10 where my brother had gotten older and was able to help out more, so I could concentrate on GCSEs."

I would get up at six in the morning to get my mum out of bed, help her take tablets, and I have a younger brother that I had to look after as well.
Catrin

"It was very difficult because I didn’t have much of a social life at all. Mum could only travel places by mobility scooter, so even though we could go places, it was slow and tedious at times. My friends didn’t understand a thing about it. Before school I’d be helping mum and after school I’d also be helping mum, so school was the only time I had to talk to friends. It didn’t affect my schoolwork too badly as I had a lot of help from teachers, but it started affecting school when it came to Year 7 because there’s a lot more homework and a lot more to get done."

 I’ve been in touch with Ceredigion Young Carers since I was 12. When I first started it was more taking a break from caring. I was able to go out, make new friends and have a social life away from my caring role. Since Nicola Crossman joined, I’ve had a lot more one to one support and it’s been a great help. I was able to talk to her about my problems when they got the better of me and she’d give me support and just help out, generally."

I’ve gained a self-confidence I’ve never had. I’ve also found a social life I never had before and I’ve met other people in the same situation that made me realise I wasn’t alone.

"There are people out there who can help me and are in a similar situation. People should take into consideration that there are so many young carers across Great Britain and that they play such an important role, because if it wasn’t for them, parents wouldn’t receive the care they need. They must take into consideration that it puts so much stress on the carer, who plays the role of an adult carer but also the role of a child."

I’d tell other young carers to find a local young carer service because it has been a lot of help to me in very difficult times. I don’t think I would have managed without the help really because it’s only the past two years that I’ve had a social life and the self-confidence has blossomed within me, but if I hadn’t had the support I would still be isolated."

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