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10-16 June 2024

Noah is 18 and has been a young carer for his younger sister who has Down’s syndrome since he was about 5 or 6 years old. 

Noah lives in a single parent household, and so his caring role often consists of helping to look after his sister whilst their mum is busy or ‘for my mum’s sake to give her a break’. Noah takes on a range of tasks which can vary from things as simple as sitting with his sister or taking her to different places, to personal tasks such as helping her to go to the toilet and putting her to bed. Noah makes sure that his sister is eating properly because she often tries to eat a lot, and so he needs to ensure she is not eating too much which could make her unwell.  

I’ve learned how to mature beyond my age and have had to be like it for a very long time, it taught me a lot about just getting on with things, as a lot of things I have to do I know a lot of other siblings wouldn’t do the same or would complain, however I take it in my stride.  

It has impacted a lot of my characteristics as an individual as well as I would consider myself as someone who is very passionate about young carers, as from being one I have learned a lot and feel that I should be doing something to help others. 

“On the other hand, I do suffer with mental health issues, and whilst that possibly may not have a direct correlation to my role, I have obtained the bad habit of back-seating my thoughts as I felt I had to have my carer role on standby at all times. So for me I found it hard to address my own personal issues.” 

Getting support from his local carer service has meant that Noah feels he has always had someone that he could speak to, particularly in a time of need for him or his family. Noah’s school have also been really supportive and very understanding of his situation at home, which has made a real difference for Noah as he balances his caring role with his studies. Noah’s school have also provided him with opportunities to speak about his caring role to different people in the school to help raise awareness of young carers.  

With thanks to Noah and Carers Trust for sharing this story.

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