Foundation Celebrate Carers Week

In celebration of Carers Week, we caught up with Rebecca Thornhill, a customer at our Youth Hub, to talk about her experiences as a young carer and the effects this has had on her life.

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

Rebecca said: “When I was growing up, I was so afraid I’d never get to spend time with my grandparents with me being the youngest of the family. The older I got, the more I started to question if they’d see me grow up. But I’m now 20 years-old and they have seen me grow up, they’ve witnessed me go into jobs, jobs I enjoyed, jobs I didn’t, but ultimately, they are my job. Every day I look after them, on my own most of the time, but we do have carers four times per day, so I do manage to get a break.”

Rebecca also spoke about how the Youth Hub has supported her to move forward and start her own business.

Rebecca said: “The Youth Hub has helped me to understand that being a young carer is normal. During my working life I have always wanted to be self-employed, so the Youth Hub helped me make my dream come true. I am currently working with The Prince’s Trust to start my own drop shipping business which I can do alongside looking after my nan and grandad. This way my mental health isn’t compromised, ensuring I don’t go backwards, only forwards.”

“I have now managed to make more time for me and to meet my friends a little more. I’ve been given the opportunity to breathe. Being a caregiver has its challenges just like a normal job, but it’s the most rewarding as it’s my own nan and grandad. I always felt judged growing up for living with my grandparents but now I’m so grateful they are still here. It affects me occasionally that they won’t be here forever, but it makes me so proud that they have made it this long and that is a blessing I will never forget. They got to witness me grow up and I got to witness them grow old.”

To get involved in our Youth Hub please contact Kate at kate.stacey@sufc-community.co.uk or 07940 546757.