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Thursday, 25 January 2018

NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES: YOUNG CARER'S AWARENESS DAY

25th January is Young Carer's Awareness Day... mum and daughter Victoria and Adele-Caitlin tell us just why that awareness matters...

Victoria says: There's a hidden army in this country, doing an incredible job, helping communities and saving the government almost £60 billion a year, but do you know who they are? Carers! Yes, unpaid carers of all ages including children (young carers.)  A young carer is a child/young person under twenty five years of age who helps to look after someone at home and takes responsibility for them. It might be a parent, sibling or family member who has a disability, long term illness, mental health condition or a problem with drugs or alcohol. Illness and disability don't discriminate. - they can affect anyone at any time in their life. 

When someone becomes disabled or has a long term illness it has an impact on the entire family, and children become young carers.  This is exactly what happened to my family in 2003 when my children were only five and two years old. Their Dad was diagnosed with an incurable rare brain condition called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (I.H.) Our lives changed overnight and we became carers (with it being such a complex condition everyone was affected.) More recently my children have started caring for me after I was diagnosed with Ehler Danlos Syndrome.  The Caitlin's Wish young carers awareness work has evolved from what we've experienced as a family. My daughter Adele-Caitlin's 'wish' was to make a difference for other young carers... our aim being to raise awareness of what it's like to be a young carer so that they're treated with the respect and understanding they deserve. That's the aim of Young Carers Awareness Day too!

Adele-Caitlin says:
Being a carer is never easy. It’s full of ups and downs; one day, life seems perfect and another it’s falling apart. Caring makes us too empathetic, so we feel everyone's pain but we feel as though nobody understands our pain. Caring makes us feel lost and alone at times, so I asked my Mum (Victoria) to write books to help all young carers, including myself, to realise that we’re not alone and that although it causes heartache, being young carers can make us stronger, smarter and braver than most kids our age.

For more info please go to -
www.caitlinswish.com
www.victoria-lewin.com
https://www.slideshare.net/VTaylorAuthor/caitlins-wish-young-carers-awareness
https://www.slideshare.net/VTaylorAuthor/what-is-ih-and-how-does-it-affect-families
http://https://youtu.be/pDPSE_jV17o whocares4us.wixsite.com/website
https://www.facebook.com/CaitlinsWishOfficial/
https://carers.org
http://aacy.org
http://www.youngcarers.net.au

Cathy says:
I know how very exhausting it can be to be a carer, emotionally and physically, and can only imagine how much tougher this must be for young carers. Have YOU ever had to look after someone in this way? COMMENT BELOW to have your say.

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