Seven years ago, Ali Umar was struggling to manage as a young carer for his mum. Joining Brentford FC Community Sports Trust's Young Carers Project in Ealing meant Ali could receive much-needed respite – joining a supportive network of young carers and taking part in fun educational activities. Now, aged 19, Ali has decided to give back. He has started working for the Trust as a support worker for the Young Carers project - mentoring other young carers who are going through a similar situation to Ali. Too often, young carers feel socially isolated and invisible members of society, Ali Umar is hoping to change that.
How did you get involved with the Young Carers project?
From what I remember, it started off when I was visited by a member of the Brentford team about the Ealing Young Carers project. At first, I was really quiet and unsure about how the project could help. However, after seven years being involved in the project I feel like it has been life-changing for me. I have enormous gratitude to the extraordinary people who made a difference in my life.
What impact did the Young Carers project have on you?
After ten years on the Young Carers project, I feel like everyone on the project has become like my family. For me, the sense of security and knowing I have other young carers I can turn to has been the biggest impact for me.
Why do you think it is important that Young Carers receive support from organisations such as Brentford FC Community Sports Trust?
Having support from the Young Carers project has been extremely beneficial: it allows you to be yourself. Through fun activities and educational games, the project helps extracts all your worries and stress – helping to distance carers from their ‘caring’ environment.
Why did you decide to help other young Carers struggling?
When I was a young carer, I felt really trapped and confused. I think it is human nature to help anyone in need, and from my own experiences, I want to help other young carers realise that they are not alone and there is support out there. I want to make sure other young carers have the same positive experience I had during Brentford’s Young Carers Project.
If you know someone who might benefit from our Young Carers project, please email Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 8326 7044