Why I am applying for the Young Carers 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.  My younger sister has severe intellectual disabilities, autism (ASD) and cerebral palsy and my mum has fibromyalgia.

I provide care to support the family. I can see how hard it is for my parents, and help where I can. A typical weekday for me would be dad leaving very early in the morning for work. This 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. My older sister and I 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 do puzzles, play games like hide and seek, and listen to music with my young sister.

Some of the things I enjoy about being a young carer are seeing my younger sister’s achievements. Things I find hard are additional responsibilities and the pressure.  I can’t invite friends over as they won’t understand. When I need a break, I like to I enjoy listening to music and colouring in, alone.

Being a young carer 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 that you’re not alone. 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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