Lydia’s Volunteering Story
Hi I’m Lydia. I am 16 years old and have just finished year 11. I was due to take GCSE’s in business, art, separate sciences, maths, English, history, R.E and German.
Lydia’s Caring Role
I am a carer for my 14 year-old brother who has epilepsy, has a learning disability, has ADHD and has autistic traits; my role as a carer involves ensuring my brother is safe, taking him out to keep him occupied and give my parents a break from caring. I also have to ensure he understands the dangers of society and learning basic skills and tasks he lacks while also having to adapt my approach to him even though he visually appears a regular 14 year-old, he isn’t. I have to be aware of his medical needs and conditions and knowing what to do in emergencies and staying up late with him to make sure he goes to sleep safely.
Volunteering with Carers Trust Solihull
I volunteer for Young Carers as a Young Leader, a Peer Mentor and a Sports leader. I have been in these roles for little under a year now and I am just happy I am able to help younger Young Carers who either feel like they don’t have a voice or that they won’t be heard or understood by adults or those around them.
As a young leader my role is to support the main leaders of Young Carers at some events that take place within the centre and just to be support when needed; as a Peer Mentor my role is to speak either on a 1:1 basis with a mentee or in a group of up to 5 mentees along with another Peer Mentor. These sessions happen once every two weeks and involve playing games, making arts and crafts or just having a conversation and a laugh with the mentees about any issues they feel comfortable sharing with me. As a Sports Leader it was my role to plan some sports events for the Younger Carers so they could have a break from their caring roles and have a chance to be children and have fun. That is the reason I chose to volunteer; growing up as a Young Carer I struggled to fit in with others my age and struggled to cope with the stresses at home and feeling like there was no one to talk to and that no one would understand me. I didn’t want others to be in the same position; I wanted them to know that there are people there to help them and who understand them and that are in similar positions to give them advice on how to cope with the situations they face as a carer.
I believe that the carers are able to get a chance of freedom and realisation that they’re not alone in their situation and that there are children older than them who are willing to help them to get the chance to be a level of support they needed.