Catherine is 16 years old, and a carer to her brother and sister. In this blog she explains how Scope’s online community helped her with the frustrations and stress that being a young carer can bring.
Your support can make all the difference. Please give a gift today so that a young carer like Catherine doesn’t have to struggle alone.
Not your average 16-year-old
If you met me, you’d probably think I’m like any other teenager. But I’m not.
I’m a cleaner, a cook, a carer, a homework supervisor, a role model and a shoulder to cry on. That’s a lot to take on at 16 years of age. I’m a young carer, so I look after my brother, who has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and autism, my sister, who has mental health issues, and my mum, who has ADHD. Phew!
I get up at 5:30am, and then it all begins, waking up the family, getting them dressed, making breakfast, giving them medication. Life is a balancing act!
Sometimes it all gets a bit much, so I’m glad I heard about Scope’s online community. It’s great because you don’t have to join a waiting list, or travel miles to talk to someone.
Scope’s online community is a lifeline to people like me.
It’s there 24 hours a day and there’s a whole community of people who’ve been through the same challenges and understand and can offer support.
I’ll never forget my first visit to Scope’s online community. I loved it straightaway – I saw how open everyone was about their feelings and personal battles, and I realised I wasn’t alone.
I’ve turned to the community many times since then, and it made a huge difference when my brother started hitting out at me. It was very hard to take when I was trying my best for him. But people on the community helped me see that it was his way of expressing his frustration – it wasn’t directed at me personally. And that frustration has gone away as we’ve settled into a new routine as a family.
The support I’ve received on the community has pulled me up when I’ve been down, left me in stitches when before there were tears. It’s helped me see that it’s okay to go through rough patches, and that I don’t have to feel guilty about struggling.
Looking to the future
There are so many people out there who could benefit from this 24 hour a day peer support network which is why I’m writing this blog. I want to make sure other families don’t have to struggle like I did and you could help Scope offer a lifeline to families like mine.
Catherine is now helping others
I’m doing everything I can to help Scope myself. Now I also volunteer as an online community champion, to make sure people feel welcome on the site. I want to say thank you (times a million) to all supporters of Scope. Scope’s online community has been a lifeline to my family and I know it can be to others.
Catherine’s story shows that young people’s lives can be changed for the better with a friendly and accessible community, available anytime anywhere.
Donate today to support our work with young carers like Catherine.
You could help ensure a disabled person and their carer always has someone to turn to.