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I’ve been looking after my mum, who has cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, agoraphobia, and some mental health issues, since I was 11.

I help her get out of bed and clean the house; I take my siblings out and about when needed; I’m there for my mum when she’s having a bad day and just needs to rant.

I realised I was a young carer when I was about 14 or 15. I didn’t start getting help though until I was around 16 years old. Carer Support Wiltshire have been supporting me for about six years. They’ve helped me with getting out about as I have bad anxiety. They’ve helped me find funding to finish my college course and finally get my dream job. They’ve also managed to get my younger siblings the help that they need as young carers. They also helped me meet other young carers in a similar boat at their young adult carer cafes.

Being a young carer doesn’t really make me feel any different as I’ve been doing it since I was 11 so to me it’s normal. I do struggle with anxiety which means I struggle with going out. I have to plan everything a week in advance to make sure I know that I can go.

Covid really affected how I could go out and about. I struggled to go out for about a year and a half. I felt very isolated and alone for a lot of it.  A lot of friends didn’t quite understand how I was feeling.  It was hard to explain that I didn’t want to go out as I didn’t want to bring anything back into the house. Over time I have gone out and about and done things thanks to the support I’ve been getting from Carer Support Wiltshire.

If you are a young carer, I would say don’t be afraid to say you are one. Don’t be afraid to say who you look after and get the help that you need. I struggled really badly when I was 14 and 15 because I wouldn’t go out unless I went to school, and I don’t want other people to feel the same way I did. Get the help that you need and meet new friends.

If you think you are a young carer or young adult carer you can call us on 0800 181 4118 for a chat or visit our websites or for more information.