My life captured as a young carer

Abi's story


Abi became a carer to her mum when she was just 11 years old.

She had been at secondary school for just two days when her mum had a failed back operation that resulted in her barely being able to move. Abi went from helping her mum with some tasks around the home to taking on all household chores.

This is her story. Told through photographs.


I wasn't always an adult

I wasn’t always an adult dealing with high level  responsibilities. I was a child  dealing with those responsibilites.

I chose this photo of me posing with a picture of my younger self, because I was viewed as the perfect little princess who would do anything I was asked as a child... when on the inside I was struggling.

I chose to photograph the washing as this is what I spent most my time doing

I did the washing so often it became second nature and therapeutic.

Within the image there’s a mix of laundry ranging from my work clothes to bedding to pjs, I didn’t just look after my own washing, I had to do everyone else’s and it wasn’t just limited to bedsheets or clothes; it was everything.

 

This image was taken when I was in the middle of a depressed wave, where I didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything

I decided to take this photo to show the truth of what mental illness can look like behind the mask of smiles I put on every day.

I would often just lie on my bed in the dark feeling depressed and crying to myself, until I felt better enough to go and do what I had to do.

The boredom i felt

Young carer on sofa

I decided to take this image on the sofa because that’s where you spend your time when you don’t have any social life.

When I got a moment to relax all I did was watch TV, because I had no one to go out with.

The image symbolizes the boredom I felt, having no social life.

This was taken at college in a quiet spot people go to be alone

The white view out of the window symbolizes how blank your mind is in class when all you can think about is the person at home you’re caring for.

The almost blacked out person shows the guilt and misery you feel leaving them at home on their own while you’re at school or work.

Hidden until they choose to be known

This image shows the different social websites young carers use to communicate with their friends, whether that’s for there own interests or for support,

The point is they are just normal people who are everywhere and are hidden until they choose to be known.

I often keep in touch with my friends who are young carers through social media as with our responsibilities you don’t always have the time to go out and meet up for a chat.

I took this image at the Festival while I was a volunteer in my volunteer top and badge. This is the highlight of the year for me. I wanted the letters to symbolize how big the festival is for a young carer and its not just a little get together in a field, it changes life’s.

Abi sitting under sign at the festival

Blue skies for us

I decided to take this image against the clear blue sky to show that when me and my friends are connected, there will be nothing but blue skies for us.

We are a support system for each other and have been for years.

The bracelets show all the different ways we’ve been connected or involved in things together.

Taking time out

I took this image outside, because I wanted to show that The Children’s Society don’t just support us in a boring office or in a scheduled meeting room. They take time out to take you anywhere, at anytime you need them.

Getting the support I needed


No matter how hard it can be, The Children's Society will still be there to have a bit of fun. They are just big kids like us.

If you need advice as a young carer, why not check out our Advice Hub.

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