Carers Week - Izzy's Story

Hi, my name is Izzy! I am 19 and currently in Birmingham for University but I live in Cheltenham.  

I cared for my dad who had Type 1 diabetes. From this disease, his kidneys had failed multiple times and he underwent bouts of dialysis and transplants (one being very kindly from my uncle). I had an emotional caring role supporting him through this tough time and in light of his premature passing, have been sorting everything for him, including his finances and funeral, as I am his next of kin.  

I was identified as a young carer by my CAMHS worker when I was 16. Although, my primary and secondary school, alongside all the previous support I have had were very aware of my situation.  

To me, being a young carer means having an emotional, or physical load others may not have, and the sense of a responsibility over someone in your family. My caring role was not necessarily physical, which is why I never believed or considered myself a young carer.  

Gloucestershire Young Carers has helped me more than I could ever imagine, I owe so much to them! First of all, it gave me a sense of belonging, something that explained my situation and made me feel less alone. The one to one counselling sessions provide me with time to unload. They are on an as needed basis which I find really helpful as they don’t discharge you when you are “doing well”. On top of this, the opportunities I have had (such as public speaking and conferences with NHS leads) has allowed me to have a voice, and hopefully make a difference. On the fun side, I have had the chance to do fun activities I otherwise never would have done, such as paddle boarding, and staying at residentials. Most importantly, I have met two of my bestest friends that understand me in a way many others don’t.  

My favourite part of where I live is the hills. I love going up Leckhampton and Crickley Hill in the summer for a barbecue or a long walk and looking at the sunset. My favourite thing to do in Gloucestershire is to go shopping, I am a shopoholic!

Something I would like to tell everyone about being a young carer is that just because your role is not as orthodox and stereotypical, does not mean you don’t fit in this bracket. It is almost universal that every fellow young carer I have met did not consider themselves one, but has greatly benefited from taking the brave step to reach out or accept help.

June 13, 2024

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