Monday 16th July 2018
So tonight I went on twitter after a few days away; my caring role took priority, and there it is! Almost 8 million unpaid carers in the UK according to a recent study. It’s what all us carers know only too well. The official figures are never anywhere near the reality of it all…this is more like a real figure!
Families struggling to cope, carers often getting little or no recognition or support…and how many of the almost 8 million are going to be children?( Young carers!)
As many of you know this is so close to my heart. Everyone in my family has a disability of some sort and we all muddle through, but the one that takes priority is the most invisible of all, my husband’s rare brain illness. I became his carer after just 7 years of marriage, age 29! My children were just 5 and 2 when they became young carers. 15 years later, and caring has dominated our lives for all those years.
On the one hand things have got better in that there’s more awareness about carers than there was all those years ago, but on the other hand things are worse than ever. Government cut backs have led to young carers projects closing up and down the UK…including the one which both my children attended.
Carers save this government £132 billion a year, that’s the same amount that it costs to run the NHS! Seriously, we do! So, isn’t it about time that society recognizes us and supports us? Is that really too much to ask?
I’m signing off now, but before I do, I’m adding some of the young carer’s photo quotes that are going to be in the Who Cares 4 Us books* (due out next year)…it’s only right they have the final say in my mind.
*The Who Cares 4 Us? series, is a series of books for schools that I’m working on, covering young carers awareness, disability awareness and bullying. The aim is for students to gain a better understanding of what life is like for young carers, and people living with disability and chronic illnesses. To help students have more compassion and tolerance through understanding what their lives are really like.
I’ve got guest writers contributing poetry, art, case studies, stories and more, from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia!
The illustrator Jeff Phillips has done all the illustrations for this series. These books are designed for schools to use worldwide, because it’s a fact that no matter where you live in the world, the issues faced by young carers are the same!*