Bethany looks after her mum. Although she has found it hard to relax, she believes meeting up with other carers has helped her face the challenges caring can sometimes throw at you.
“When people ask me how I came around to becoming a young carer I sometimes find it hard to answer, the main reason being because of how young I was when I was first introduced to the title. I was around the age of 8 when I first found out about Surrey Young Carers. My mother explained it to me saying that children around my age, who go through the troubles I did of helping look after someone in their family, get together and take a time out of being a carer and can be themselves.
The best thing about being a carer is the opportunity to meet people who themselves also look after someone and have someone to talk to that can relate to some of the trouble you go through each day. Whether it’s simply not being able to hang out with their friends on weekends or having no time to themselves because their day consists of helping the person they care for. I have made many friends because of Surrey Young Carers and I am very grateful to have people who can understand things that many of my friends are unable to.
One of the many things I find hard about my caring role is how little things I get to do with my mother when it comes to days out. Though she says she wants to and is able to come out with me, I can’t help but worry that her body and she cannot handle the stress of having to get to the destination, especially since we have to rely on public transport to get to the place. This means that not just her but myself have to miss out on fun opportunities out in the world.
When we do have the opportunity to have fun days out, or even if it’s simply to go to school/college, I myself can’t help but worry about my mother. I always get worried that she’s going to fall ill while I’m away, which is why I constantly call her to make sure she is okay. She can get pretty frustrated of how much I call her when I’m supposed to be having fun.
Being part of Surrey Young Carers has, I believe, allowed me to mature as a person from a very young age. It allowed me to be prepared for emergencies with my mum that would of before had me scared and frightened, instead I was nervous but understanding. I was also able to understand certain thing kids my age wouldn’t of known about back then. I was also given the opportunity to meet people who could understand what my life was like; not having friends, staying at home a lot, none of the other kids understanding why I was always worried about my mum. But now I have been able to form, I hope, lifelong friendships with people that not only can understand me but allows me to understand them and the kind of challenges they face each day.”