This is an article from Unfold magazine
Thanks to donations from wonderful supporters just like you, we have set up an online community a place where people connected by disability can share experiences, provide support, swap ideas, and get advice and information.
Last year, over 90,000 people visited the community, getting involved in over 1,200 discussions. You have a crucial role in bringing these people together.
Catherine, a community champion, explains how she now feels less alone – with you by her side.
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 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 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.”
With your support, Catherine is feeling confident about the future.
“At times, I’ve been in tears because I didn’t know anyone who understood what I was going through.
Scope understands that we need support from people who’ve been through the same challenges and have useful tips and advice to share. And sometimes you need those useful tips and advice at 2am when your autistic brother can’t sleep and morning seems a long, long time away.
“Everyone in the online community is so open about their impairments, their feelings, their personal battles. It helped me see that it’s OK to go through rough patches. I shouldn’t have to feel so guilty about struggling.”
You’re helping Catherine help others
“Now I also volunteer as an online community champion, to make sure people feel welcome on the site. I want to say thank you (x 100,000,000) to all supporters of Scope. Scope’s online community has been a lifeline to my family and I know it can be to others.
Your gifts don’t just help one person, once. The community supports anyone at any time.”
You make all the difference to young carers like Catherine. Thank you for helping us be there for those who need support.