Caring for you, caring for others…

How often do we put ourselves and our goals first? Whether it’s looking after friends or family, or other commitments, what we want to do can end up at the end of a long list of other things which we have to do.

This was the situation 16 year old L found herself in, she turned to our partners Carers Federation for support. Here’s her story.

L had recently left school and was living with both her parents who have ill health. She’s a registered carer for them, supporting her dad, who has been dependent on alcohol for most of his adult life and is significantly affected by mental ill health, and her mum who suffers with ongoing chronic arthritic pain, anxiety and depression and finds it extremely difficult to manage her husband’s alcohol dependency. 

She chose to come to Carers Federation because they specialise in supporting young carers who provide emotional, practical, and physical support to someone else and who assume a level of responsibility for another person which would normally be taken by an adult.

L signed up to the Action for Young Carers service, where she was assigned a support worker. During her support sessions, she said that she wanted to do an apprenticeship in Early Years because she enjoys working with children. It was clear that L needed some support; she’d been unsuccessful at a previous interview and said she was very unprepared, nervous and was also emotionally affected by her unsettled home life.

L’s home life had also had an impact on her studies, something which was made worse by Coronavirus because her grades had been assessed on course work submission rather than by exam. There was help available though, through Nottingham Works, which helps young people find work and training, and her support worker was able to help her find a suitable apprenticeship in childcare.

L’s support worker assisted her in preparing for an interview but she still didn’t feel ready and even thought about turning it down, because of her anxiety, her lack of experience and because of everything she was experiencing at home. She was encouraged to pursue the post though, and with the guidance of her support worker who helped her with mock interview techniques, she attended her interview and was successful in being offered a job as a nursery nurse. 

Editor’s final thoughts…

What I realise, as I write this, is that young people like L are putting their own lives on hold, out of compassion and a duty to look after their parents or another family member. They’re taking on responsibilities and experiencing situations which make it really hard for them to get support and to get where they want to go.

Hearing about L, and how much she opened up to Carers Federation about her challenges in life, trying to manage her home life, schoolwork and her caring role, makes me feel very positive. There is support out there and like L, you too could put your own goals first, with a bit of support from the Action for Young Carers team.

Find out more about our latest support for young people under 25, including the work that Carers Federation do, on our Nottingham Works 4 You web page or call Nottingham Jobs on 0115 876 4508.