Britain's young carers
Tuesday 18 May 2010
We’re constantly hearing about kids misbehaving, children playing truant and youngsters surgically attached to their Xboxes, but we rarely hear about the 175,000 completely selfless kids in Britain who are young carers responsible for looking after a relative.
According to the Princess Royal Trust for Carers Charity and the Children’s Society, around 13,000 children spend an astonishing 50 hours per week caring for a relative,
11-year-old Sharon Webb helps care for her dad Stephen who suffers from fibromyalgia –a disorder which causes people to ache all over- and clinical depression.
She says: ‘I have a very busy life compared to my friends. I get up at 6.30am to let our dog out and give mum a hand preparing dad’s breakfast. I also help with his socks and shoes before leaving for school.’
And Sharon clearly feels the pressure of living with a disabled parent saying: ‘Although dad is well looked after, I worry about him during the day. My school work is affected because when I worry I can’t concentrate.’
Like Sharon, Kama Digance also cares for her mum who suffers from ME, fibromyalgia, dissociative motor disorder and clinical depression. Kama also leads a busy life which doesn’t slow down once school’s out.
‘At dinner time my brother and I peel and chop the vegetables. Afterwards mummy is tired so I wash the dishes with my brother. At 8.30pm I get my uniform and school bag ready’ she says. Phew, exhausting stuff.
Danielle cares for her mum Dionne, who has fibromyalgia, depression and ME, alongside her father who has epilepsy and her younger siblings.’ She too seems to bear the weight of the world on her young shoulders saying,
‘I worry at school that mum might fall over. If the class has been naughty and we’re kept after school for detention, I get a lump in my throat when I think my mum might be worried about me.
Her mum Dionne fully appreciates what her 12 year olds sacrifices for the family. She says,
‘One of the kids at school called Danielle ‘Cinderella’ as she does so much around the house. We get by the best we can.’
By Javena Johnson
How admirable of these kids eh?
Posted by sugar sweet
RE: Britain's young carers
this puts things in perspective! we are constantly reading about celebrities and stories about people scrounging off the state and alcoholic kids or kids who wont go to school when this huge problem slipped under the radar!
i myslef looked after my mum as an only child when she had a breakdown and i cant tell you how much i used to envy my classmates who didn't have a care in the world!
that being said i wouldn't change a thing because me and my mum are so close now andthe experience has made me who i am today, im strong and independant and i dont let silly things bother me.
i think the spoilt brat kids of today that we read about who take their parents for granted, have no respect and don't appreciate the opportunities they have should read these couragous kids stories and think about their behaviour!
Posted 28/05/2010 13:19:13
Posted by DaniellaC
RE: Britain's young carers
There! Now that's shown that all kids aren't misbehaving, swearing louts who scrounge off their parents! I am not a carer, but I do charity work, and I work hard. I am fed up of people saying that all teenagers are bad! I'm 13, btw. And hey, people who use the kid stereotype: Read this and weep, people.
Posted 07/08/2010 14:19:43