Susan has worked for GYC as Partnerships and Participation Worker for nearly ten years and has been instrumental in building our links with schools and developing the young carer forum.
Prior to GYC, Susan was a youth worker for 25 years, coming to Gloucestershire in 1980 to run the youth centre at Northway and then in Tewkesbury. Her connection with young carers began when she met GYC founder Helen and did assemblies with her at Tewksbury school, eventually starting a young carers group at the youth centres she worked in.
Susan’s youth work background made her an excellent fit in her role at GYC, especially supporting young carers who joined the forum and also organising and facilitating our regular health and wellbeing course ‘Caring Counts’, a universal offer for all young carers of secondary school age. The development of our links with schools was a key responsibility and GYC had connection with only a handful of schools when Susan began her employment with us. We now have established Young Carer School Leads in 189 Primary schools and 72 secondary schools and colleges covering the whole county. Working closely with schools enables hidden young carers to be identified and known young carers to get the support they need to thrive and achieve, so these links have made a huge difference to young carers over the years.
Susan has described how one of the highlights of her work has been working with young carers over time, meeting them when they have just been connected with GYC, and then seeing them growing up, moving on with their lives and blossoming.
A past member of the young carers forum, Abbie Rich, describes the impact of the work “Being part of the forum has helped me with my confidence and social skills. No one believes that I used to be shy and full of self-doubt, thanks to GYC I met young carers like me, and the amazing staff helped me grow into the person I am today.”
In the words of Operations Manager, Ele Semadeni “Susan has made an outstanding contribution to GYC embracing a varied role that has helped to improve the lives of numerous young carers. Always a tremendous ambassador for GYC, Susan has risen to new challenges and supported her work colleagues through her kindness, consideration and friendship. She will be greatly missed.”
The team at GYC wish Susan a well-deserved restful retirement and hope that she gets to enjoy spending more time with her grandchildren and holidaying in Greece!