Why I am applying for the Young Cares Bursary

Hi, my name is Natalie and I provide care for my Younger sister and Mum. I have been a young carer for 9.5 years, for younger sister who has severe intellectual disabilities, Autism (ASD) and Cerebral Palsy and my Mum who has Fibromyalgia.

I provide care to support the family and I can see how hard it is for my parents, so I provide help and support where I can. A typical weekday for me would be dad leaving very early in the morning for work, which leaves me and my older sister to help out in the morning before school doing things like, packing lunches, making food, getting my little sister dressed. Then I go to school, me and my older sister quite often have to walk to the bus stop as neither of my parents can drop us off. After school we help doing household chores, doing the dishes, laundry, cooking, riding to the shops for necessities. In the evening, I help my younger sister out by helping her with puzzles, playing games like hide and seek, playing her songs.

Some of the things I enjoy about being a young carer are that I enjoy seeing my younger sister’s achievements. Some of the things I find hard about being a young carer are additional responsibilities and pressure on my shoulders, inability to invite friends over since they won’t understand what’s wrong with my sister. When I need a break, I like to I enjoy listening to music and colouring in, alone. Being a young carer has changed my life because it has impacted my life in many ways, I’ve become much more mature, understanding, empathetic and compassionate. Not being able to be there sometimes makes me wonder how my little sister with cope without my help and how my parents, particularly my mum, will manage alone.

If I could have anything to help me out it would be to have space or time to be alone and focus on my mental health and achieve things I want to do in the future. Being a young carer has taught me to be more responsible, understanding peoples needs and emotions, flexible and kind. I would like others to realise that they shouldn’t underestimate themselves, help others where they can, appreciate the time you get alone and talk about struggles with your loved ones. One piece of advice I would like to share with other young carers is that you’re not alone and seek help when things get too much for you too handle. My parents financial situation is a problem for our family at times. On the 16th of August, I will be applying for young carer’s bursary to help support my family and pursue my dreams.

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