Kathryn was only 13 when she first started to care for her mum who suffered from arthritis and a personality disorder.
As one of six children, Kathryn took responsibility for cooking, cleaning, administering medication, while also providing emotional support. At times, Kathryn missed out on seeing friends and going out because she was so busy caring for her mum, most of her friends in school never understood it.
She was made to grow up very quickly from a young age, which as a young person means you miss out on a lot of your average childhood things. But being a carer has helped her develop into a more understanding and patient individual. If Kathryn didn’t get the support she needed as a young carer, she would never be where she is today.
Kathryn has a social work degree and is the Young Carers Project Coordinator for Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, where she offers vital advice and mentoring to young carers who are struggling.
She said: “Too often, young carers can feel socially isolated and invisible. It took me a long time to realise I was a young carer. If I had known that other people were going through the same thing, it would have reassured me that I wasn’t alone. Whether your caring for parents siblings, family members we all do the same job, it’s about supporting each other.”
The Trust’s Young Carers Project, provides support and advice to young carers living in the boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing. They offer a range of respite activities which include days out in the school holidays, advocacy and advice when requested, and one-to-one support with a project worker when required. The project is a chance for the young carers to have a break from their caring role and to meet other young carers who are in a similar situation. If you’re aged five to 18 (or up to 25 in some cases) please contact us for support today.
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