Meet Rida, a young carer, who looks after her mother and helps take care of her younger brother. Her mum has epilepsy so both children take on more responsibilities in the home than you’d expect from children of their age.
Unlike a lot of other 13 year olds, I have a lot of responsibilities at home. Other kids might know they have food in the house, but I have to go and get things like milk sometimes. I clean the house, especially the room I share with my brother as that one does get very messy! I pick him up from school and take him to mosque for his lessons there before I go in. Sometimes I get him ready for bed. I check the doors and turn off the lights.
I make sure mum takes her medications. The chemist delivers it all set out in a box with the right ones for each time. Now and again, they don’t deliver – if mum doesn’t have some left over from last time, she might have a seizure.
My school knows I am a carer and they can be nice when I am late with homework – but I still got told off the other day! It helps to have my phone with me in case there is an emergency. And I wish I could have more time to do the homework, sometimes you only get one or two days. Other young carers definitely should tell a trusted teacher or family member if you are having a hard time and need some help.
The best thing about being a young carer is knowing that my mum is being cared for. I come to a lot of Carers in Bedfordshire things and get to talk to other young carers – the camping trip was fun. I’m lucky that we have my grandma and uncle nearby, and there are always some of mum’s good friends who we can run to.