Marek is a young carer

carers-high-res-day-2-162My little sister Anna is seven years old and struggles to make herself understood. She gets angry and frustrated and people who don’t know us think she is naughty and out of control. I’ve tried to explain it to people before. I can see that mum feels embarrassed and I try to help her as much as I can by playing with Anna when I get home from school or cleaning up after dinner so that she can bath Anna. It’s very hard though because when I’m at school I worry that mum isn’t coping or that Anna is getting upset and I’m not there to help her calm down. She’s not always angry. She can be very affectionate and likes me to read stories to her. I do love being with her but it means that I don’t get to go anywhere with my friends after school. Mum is really good at weekends and takes me to football on Sunday morning but I always feel guilty about going. A few months ago mum registered with Richmond Carers Centre and signed me up to their Young Carers Service. The support that mum is getting now has really helped because it means she isn’t so stressed all the time. She smiles more now. The Richmond Carers Centre – Young Carers Service is amazing. I’ve had a couple of mentoring sessions with one of the Young Carers Support Workers, who comes to see me at school and I’ve started going to the Sibling Carers group after school on Fridays. I’ve made some new friends already and it feels good to be with other young carers. Last half term I got to go on an experience day at Thames Young Mariners with the Young Carers Service. It was absolutely amazing and not something that mum could afford to take me to so I felt really lucky to be there. My mentoring sessions have helped me to feel less guilty about going to school and doing things for myself and knowing that mum is getting more support as well is a big help.