Throughout the UK there are around 3 million children who lovingly care for a family member with a disability, mental health problem or substance misuse issue.
It is through the work of ‘The Princes Trust Young Carers Scheme’ that those affected can be looked after by outside help and provided with activities, homework clubs, field trips and support networks.Here children are able to speak to other young people like themselves and social workers can make sure they are ok both inside and outside of the family home.
i-D travelled to Sutton to catch up with the Princes Trust homework club and talk to Young Carers Aryana and Kama(both aged 8)
Who do you care for?
Aryana: My Mum.
Kama: My Mum and sometimes my brother.
How has life changed for you now you are a young carer?
A: I do lots of different things, like carrying shopping bags, helping out with washing and the laundry, just helping out around the house.
K: I help my Mummy wash, help her bathe and wash her hair when she can’t raise her arms up and I look after my brother too.
What facilities are made available to you through The Princess Royal Trust for Carers?
A: The homework club l go to is so helpful, sometimes we work through carer sheets and talk about things about school.
K: We can’t usually go back to our friends houses who are Young carers because home life can be hard so we have play dates at the young carers centre, there we have a pool table, writing space and a Wii!
How does the level of support they provide help you to stay positive and motivated?
A: It gets me to feel better, sometimes at night l can’t sleep but l read and all the help l get makes me feel better about everything.
K: It helps me make new friends, its about having fun getting a break from home.
What message would you give to other young carers in your position with regards to getting themselves involved with The Princess Trust?
A: Just have your fingers crossed that anyone you care for will get better and stay hopeful.
K: I would just give them lots of hugs. If you know how to make lots of tea, make lots of tea and if you know where the biscuits are ,get lots of biscuits. I would want to make people realise they are not on their own. If there is something on your mind always talk about it.
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