‘Juggling caring and school was stressful – you had to make sure you got everything done at home before you could do homework. It was stressful and it was hard work, but there wasn’t any way to get around it so it became something I had to live with.’ Since joining our young carer programme, Molly has become more focused on her dreams. She regularly speaks out for young carers' rights.
young carer quote
Looking after the family
‘From the age of about 10 I’ve been looking after my mum, my nan, my dad and step dad. I started off looking after my mum who had a slipped disc and a pacemaker fitted.
My nan is registered blind, my dad had a head injury a few years ago and he lost a lot of his memory, and then my step dad had an aortic valve replacement four years ago that went wrong.'
Molly cooks, cleans, picks up medicine and pays the bills. But she hasn't let that stop her, she's grown in confidence and she's finding the time to pursue her dreams.
Becoming a champion
Molly only found out she was a young carer at 14. She was then referred to our young carer programme. ‘It helps to give young carers a break once in a while, which we so desperately need. They do this through one-on-one or group meetings and trips to take our mind off things, like the annual Young Carers Festival.’
championing young carers
She is now a champion for young carers. It has given her a new focus.‘I’m very keen to help other young carers, as there are so many out there, younger than me, who do so much more. I raise awareness about the issues that young carers face and what my life is like being a carer.'
Sometimes we just need to look at the world around us and see what’s changing and what we can do about it.
A movement for young carers
‘Young carers are becoming more outspoken - positive things are happening for young carers that I know have helped me and will help other people, so I just want that to keep on happening.’
‘If there are any young carers out there, I want them to know they are not alone, that there are others out there like them, and that there are people around that who will help, and who won’t judge.’
Young carers are not alone
Through the Include programme, Molly has grown in confidence. She's made friends and discovered a life beyond caring. ‘I’ve managed to talk on radio, talk in newspapers about being a young carer about how it’s changed my life.
'I’ve won an award from David Cameron for my work volunteering with young carers, which was amazing. And then it’s influenced me in my degree choice – journalism – talking about things, talking to the media and influencing change and everything like that, it’s just insane.’ Molly later graduated with a First Class degree in Journalism.
'There are people who will just do everything to get them to their goals, to get them to what they need to be, and what they want to be.’
When I look into the future I see things are going upwards.
This is a true story but names and identifying details have been changed to protect the young person and the photographs have been posed by models.