#ShareOurSilence

Many young carers are hidden and do not have a voice. Young carers often carry a heavy burden and responsibility... alone.

It is estimated that 130,000 young carers are unknown*, unseen and unheard.

To highlight their silence, we are asking you to #ShareOurSilence for Young Carers Awareness Day.

Could you support the young carers we work with by joining our five minutes of silence campaign between 31st January and 14th February? Simply tell people when you will be doing it, seal your decision by donating £3 in support and take a selfie when you're done!

 You can share your #SilentSelfie with us online by using #ShareOurSilence and show young carers you care.

 

A gift of £3 could support more young carers and give them their voice

   

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Keia's Story

Tee's story

 

Five years ago, Keia was a withdrawn 11-year-old who would actively avoid social contact. She feared her role as a young carer for her Mum, who has mental health issues, would betray her sense of being different, someone separate to her peers.

Keia reflects on her life coping with her Mum’s Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), as the youngest in the family, caring for Mum’s daily needs: “My Mum gets anxious over the smallest of things and so tension builds, putting me on edge – it can be like a ticking time bomb”, says Keia.

“My Mum’s condition means she is mentally unstable and often at risk of physical and mental harm… but I really love my Mum and I can’t imagine my world without her.”

When Keia joined Spurgeons Wolverhampton Young Carers, she started to get the support she needed to begin to better understand her Mum, herself and her family. This enabled her to become more accepting of what she had to deal with in life and, with that, came a gradual increase in self-confidence. Now she’s helping other young carers at the group, including leading some of them in performing arts activities, for example.

“Becoming part of Spurgeons young carers gave me an opportunity to meet other people my age who were from similar home backgrounds to myself,” says Keia.

“Add in all the group work that we do, as well as the one-to-one support sessions we have, and I started to come out of my shell, to believe in myself more and get on with others, not feeling guilty about enjoying myself.

“And because I feel more confident, I find I can go back to my family feeling better able to support Mum, not only with the domestic chores but also by helping us to discuss our difficulties and focus on how we can cope and be strong.”

 

Tee has grown up with her Mum’s struggle with Multiple Sclerosis. Since her Mum and Dad divorced when Tee was seven-years-old, then her older sister leaving home, the 16-year-old from Walsall has shouldered the burden of most of her Mum’s care.

Helping her Mum to get around and to use her mobility scooter, keeping house and home together and doing her school work, Tee doesn’t have a lot of time left for herself or to socialise with friends.

Yet Spurgeons Wolverhampton Young Carers has made a big difference to Tee’s quality of life, inviting her to a local young carers group where she can share experiences with others in similar circumstances, as well as arranging regular days out for the group – Tee has enjoyed trips to Alton Towers and Liverpool, for example.

“Mum found out about Spurgeons for me online and they’ve been great… the people there have freed me up to make friends at the group and also to go round the shops with them or to the cinema a couple of times a month, without having to worry about Mum,” says Tee.

Tee is studying Psychology, Applied Law and Criminology at sixth form and says she’s interested in becoming a criminal psychologist: “I’m fascinated by the mind and how it works,” she says.

She’s also interested in mental illness, having friends with mental health issues. Tee, herself, has had depression and anxiety in the past, though she isn’t receiving counselling or medication anymore.

“I’m lucky my Mum found out about Spurgeons and that the school I used to go to was aware of their work with young carers but there must still be many young carers out there who don’t know about the support that’s available and it would be really great if they did,”  says Tee.

80%

of young carers are not receiving the

support they need from their local authority

What is a young carer?

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

It is estimated there are

800,000

young carers in England

“The work we do can have an impact on these young carers for the rest of their lives. We can build their confidence, help them feel less alone.” - Spurgeons Support Worker  

"Spurgeons has helped me to get out more, I went on a week’s holiday and have friends from that. Meeting different people can be daunting but it also gives you a support group that you can relate to…you’re all young carers."  - Young Carer

"Our young people find it difficult to be heard, someone taking the time out to listen is just what they need. Having me to speak to makes them feel more comfortable and safe." - Spurgeons Support Worker

 

A gift of £3 could support more young carers and give them their voice

  

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*The support provided to Young Carers in England, Children’s Commissioner, December 2016

Contact Details

74 Wellingborough Road
Rushden
Northants
NN10 9TY
01933 412412
Fundraising Regulator

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