Saturday 23 August 2014


Reader Jade describes what it's like to have to look after your family… even when you're still a child yourself…

Jade says:
I'm seventeen years old and I'm a young carer from Scotland; I've been a young carer ever since I can remember, and have been attending the Young Carers support group since I was nine. A young carer is someone who looks after a family member with an illness, disability, mental health or substance abuse problem. Young carers tend to take on tasks involving practical or emotional support that adults would normally do.

In my family, myself and two of my sisters are young carers; we look after our brother, who has Autism and developmental delay, and my mum who has some mental health issues. My brother likes to stick to a schedule and if it varies or goes wrong he can get extremely upset and angry, which can be hard to handle. He also gets very anxious in a crowd and cannot hold his emotions in.

My mum has BPD (borderline personality disorder) so I have to look after my youngest sister so mum can get to all her appointments and groups. Sometimes there are just too many calls on my time and it outweighs my ability to do more than one thing at once. The friends I have made though the Young Carers support group get this completely, but not everyone at school is able to understand. Some did and some didn't, so often I kept quiet about what was happening at home. The teachers knew my background, and that helped.

The Young Carers support group helps people in my situation to meet others in the same boat and to make friends. There are also support workers who can offer one-to-one chat and support. In the summer there is a big Young Carer's Festival which hundreds of young carers attend. There are indoor and outdoor activities, a silent disco, music and things like Indian head massage. We can stay in a small cabin or a tent, like a real festival. This year will be my first time at the festival and I can't wait!

I guess people may think it is very hard being a young carer, and sometimes it is, but I appreciate the support from Young Carer's group and I love my family. This is my life - it's just the way things are for me, and a lot of the time I take it in my stride.

Find out more about Young Carers here:

Cathy says:
Jade is a very strong and caring girl… her support and care make life a lot easier for both her brother and her mum. COMMENT BELOW if you'd like to share your support with Jade, or if YOU have ever had to act as a young carer yourself...


  1. Jade you are amazing xo
    Hey Cathy, 3 things I wanted to ask...
    1. Can you PLEASE come to NZ soon?
    2. I have a problem of the week for Coco Tanberry, where do I post?
    3. How do you be a reviewer/ you know on here?

  2. Aw…..Stay strong, Jade xxx

  3. hey jade,
    I am a young carer myself I know how it feels.You just have to stay strong listen to this song keep holding on by avril lavigne real good this will be my second year at the festival its great.Hope we meet in the the way my friend said all this and asked me to post it cause she has no computer

    1. Stay strong Jade and anonymous xxx

  4. I found it very inspirational and stay strong jade
    P.s. You have such a nice name

  5. ur story is so inspiring. stay strong and never give up coz u r doing amazing jade! Hamdi:)xxx

  6. I've been a semi-young-carer for a while now. My older brother has autism, so I've grown up with that my entire life. When I was fifteen my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, but fortunately beat it that following year. A few months later my dad had two heart attacks, but again fortunately survived. Sixth months after my mother's cancer returned and her battle was lost on Easter Sunday 2014. Other family members have had bad luck with health too, so I find myself offering my help and support wherever possible. It's meant that I've been through more in my eighteen years than most grown adults with in their lifetimes, but I wouldn't change it for the world as it's made me the strong young woman I am today and really taught me some tough but vital life lessons.

    1. Let me know if you ever want to blog for DREAMCATCHER RedRocker; your strength and positivity are awesome and inspiring. xxx

    2. stay strong red rocker, u sound so brave. Hamdi:)xxx



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