“I’m a young carer, but that’s not all I am.”

Last year, 235 young carers in Liverpool were assessed by Barnardo’s Action With Young Carers or received support from them.

Young carers look after a parent with a long-term condition and sometimes also younger siblings.

Here, Aimee Hadwin, 18, explains what life is like for a young carer and how Barnardo’s have made a difference. This was previously published in the Liverpool ECHO on Wednesday 10 June, as part of national Carers Week.

Young carer Aimee Hadwin

Hello, I’m Aimee, and I’m 18. I live with my mum and dad in Walton and I’m going to share with you a typical day in my life as a young carer.

Mornings I do dishes, washing and cleaning; the kinds of chores that you might be familiar with, although you might be older than me. I remind my parents to take their medicine and attend their appointments and I check throughout the day that they’re OK. Lately I do this more often because if they need anything, they’ve really only got me. Calling the doctors is difficult in a pandemic, and lockdown makes shopping incredibly stressful. Caring can be lonely and isolating and that’s harder to manage because we’ve got to stay at home. I am a young carer, but that’s not all I am.

Afternoons, I’m in the Barnardo’s Young Carers Social Influencing Group, I’m on the Regional Youth Board for National Citizen Service, and I’m a Liverpool Social Care Partnership Young Advisor. In these roles I am connected and visible to people that help me to cope and grow. I make videos, posts and blogs for social media, and I find ways to help other young people to have their voices heard. It’s challenging but doesn’t volunteering help us all to lift our moods? When you’re a carer, you really do need something when you’re feeling down and stressed.

Evenings, I love spending time with my parents. I do crafts for the garden with my mum and I play games with my dad. I do art and I am someone’s daughter. Because although I am a young carer, that’s not all I am.

You can follow Liverpool Young Carers on Twitter @YoungLiverpool where you can also watch our new film Balance.

Barnardo’s Action With Young Carers complete young carer assessments on behalf of Liverpool City Council. Assessments are available for any young carer aged five-25. Visit www.liverpool.gov.uk/carersassessment

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