It would be very easy just to say ‘Young Carers’
and leave it at that. But, we can’t begin to understand how hard they work and how difficult it can be for them and why – they need a smile. Here are a few examples of the stories we are told.
Sarah is the main care for her mum who has a neurological condition called CRPS, Fibromyalgia, Allodynia and nerve damage which has spread all over her body from the neck down which has resulted in her being unable to walk unaided.
Sarah and mum live together with very little support around them. Mum has recently had to give up work due to a number of falls and the last one resulted in her banging her head and knocking herself unconscious. Mum has hidden the severity of her illness from Sarah for some time which came to a head when Sarah received the call to say mum was in hospital.
When she is at home she is responsible for the majority of the chores around the house and fully responsible for mum’s care. She showers her and washes her hair and straightens it, she helps mum dress, does the washing and the ironing and the hoovering. She does the shopping when needed and walks the dog and mows the grass. Mum can’t go out unaided so Sarah needs to be there to push her wheelchair and has often needed to pick mum up after a fall. Mum is looking into a lifeline button.
Till then – Sarah is her life line.
Abi and Kaylee are twin sisters aged 12 years old. They care for their mum Josie who suffers with mental ill health and physical disabilities. Over the past 12 months, mum has begun to have unexplained seizures. She is currently undergoing tests to try and find out the cause of the seizures and how to treat them. The seizures can strike at any time and cause mum’s eyes to roll in to the back of her head and her body to become tense. The girls have been witness to the seizures on several occasions and this has had a huge impact on family life. The children have been accessing regular respite sessions at the centre including youth clubs, football club and trips during school holidays. They have also had regular one to one support which has helped develop their coping strategies in their caring role. I have been working with the families landlord to improve their living conditions as there were issues around damp, broken doors, no carpets etc. They are a lovely family who have been hit by hard times due to mum’s ill health. The home environment has improved and the living conditions are much better. The girls have asked if there is any way we could source them new beds as they are damaged by mould and have broken slats. I’m applying to this fund on behalf of the girls to purchase 2 day beds, each costing £100. It would help complete their new and improved room and definitely put a big smile on their faces J
Sometimes. it isn’t difficult to make youngsters smile. £100 – that is all to make such a difference to their lives.
One of our ‘Making Memory‘ smiles was for 2 young brothers Jake and Dominic aged 11 and 12. Their dad had been diagnosed liver and pancreatic cancer and the prognosis was grim. Obviously, dad couldn’t work so money was short, the future was bleak and life was tough for the whole family. We were asked if we could supply a laptop between them as this would make them both smile. We couldn’t really afford to buy a lap top for each boy so we compromised and got them a tablet each. To say they were thrilled would be an understatement – as were mum and dad. It’s not a lot to ask of us to help in such terribly sad circumstances………………
Over the years, we have organised smiles for youngsters referred from Derian House, Barnardo’s, CANW in Blackburn, Blackpool Young Carers and St Catherine’s Hospice to name but a few.
Can you help us make a child smile? Please contact us or make a donation. Every penny goes such a long way.