Young carer, daughter, budding paramedic
Young carers have more responsibilities than others their age. It’s hard to care for someone and keep up with schoolwork or hang out with friends. But it can also builds character. Make them more determined. We spoke to Phoebe about being a young carer this past year and what she would do if she was Prime Minister.
Looking after mum
Mum comes first
Phoebe is fifteen. Her mum has epilepsy and bad mental health. She has been looking after her as long as she can remember. Doing the dishes, dressing her, taking care of dinner. All while juggling schoolwork. It’s a lot to take on. And lockdown only made things worse.
‘I have always found with my caring role that sometimes I am having to give up a lot of time to help my mum.’
‘If she’s unwell I will usually put my mum first and leave my schoolwork and coursework and see to it later. Before the pandemic, I would take days off school and sometimes change plans with friends so I could help her.’
‘It has however brought me and my mum a lot closer. We have such a tight bond now.’
People say we are like an old married couple
young carer dreams of being a paramedic
Carer to paramedic
Children returned to school last week. Some are anxious about going back. For Phoebe, it’s a welcome relief from her caring duties. She is very focused. She has ambitions. She wants to go to university and become a paramedic.
‘My mental health is a lot better when I am at school. I love school and having that routine in place is better. As much as I love her, knowing I’m able to have that break from mum for a couple of hours helps.’
‘I’ve just started studying for my GCSE’s. In the future, I’d love to be a paramedic and I want to go to university. My family have always said that I shouldn’t feel ashamed of this.'
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Time to listen
Phoebe wants people to know about young carers. The more they know, the more support there will be. She doesn’t want anyone to have to go through it alone.
‘I do think young carers are listened to in society, but not enough. If I was Boris Johnson for a day, I would build awareness of young carers. Because it’s important. It’s important what we do, and our voices should be heard.’
There was a time when Phoebe was frustrated. It felt unfair that she had to care for her mum. But she has learnt to accept it. She now has plans for the future.
‘Everything happens for a reason. It may not be a good reason but at the same time there’s something good that comes out of it.’
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.