Young Carers Awareness day is a day organised by the Carers Trust in order to raise awareness for the challenge’s young carers face in their lives. A young carer is someone under the age of eighteen who cares unpaid for someone who is sick, disabled or misuses substances such as drugs or alcohol. The life of a young carer can be stressful due to having to balance schoolwork, household tasks and being a carer so it is important to support them and be mindful of the difficulties they face. In Bromley, there is Bromley Well who provide various support systems such as workshops, social activities and individual therapeutic support to young carers, and they also have an app.

In order to gain a first-hand experience of what being a young carer can be like and some advice, I spoke to someone --who wishes to remain anonymous- about their experiences. I asked my interviewee what the positives to being a young carer are to which they said that “watching my sister progress” is one of the things that is most rewarding for them. In my experience from living with a sibling with a disability, it’s the little moments that really count as they can often be fleeting. I also asked them what they thought people should know about being a young carer and they replied that “people need to understand that there are difficulties that young carers face like disturbed sleep, dedicating time to help who they’re caring for, sleepovers and that coming round mine”. If someone, especially younger siblings, are acting out, it can be tough to witness and make it worse for the person being cared for, so it is important to be sensitive.

If you’re a young carer and you are looking for advice, remember there is always someone for you to talk to at school or in the wider community and plenty of help out there.

By Sadie Saunder