Today we have a Guest Blogger Ailsa Tweedie
“In the last few days I’ve just come back from London after a successful meeting with the National Union of Students on a piece of research into student carers that they plan to launch later this summer that I have been a part of. However it was my journey before NUS; one that began at the mere age of eight years old that I’m going to be writing about as guest blogger.
I was never officially identified by my local authority as a young carer until I was in third year of secondary school; which meant that I was never accessing any support from a young carers project until I was thirteen years old. At this point I had already been forced to grow up far too quickly, become independent and already had part of my childhood robbed.
In all honesty upon reflection, I wish that someone had connected the dots for me sooner. It would have made growing up a lot easier than it was. At a young age I wasn’t able to articulate to my friends what was wrong with my mum and why it meant I needed to help look after her. Being a young carer also meant that I had to hear sensitive and sometimes upsetting news about my mum’s condition with no one to talk to about it, as I’m an only child.
I’m often asked by people when sharing my experiences of being a carer if I had ever been given the choice between being a young carer and a normal young person; what would I have chosen?
At the moment at the age of twenty-two, it is a question that I am yet to give an honest answer to …”