Carers Week - Pip's Story

My name's Pip. My age is 24 and I live in Tuffley. Originally, my main caring role was for my mum. She suffers with MS (Multiple sclerosis). At the end of secondary school my dad then also got classed as disabled, as he has a condition called lymphedema. Both me and my sister Caitlin care for our parents and our roles have changed slightly as we have both gotten older. I tend to do more of the shopping and helping out with things around the house, like doing the washing. Caitlin does more like the cleaning side of things. When I was younger it was split more so Caitlin did all the stuff like the washing and the cleaning whereas I did all the stuff like writing the shopping list and going to go to the shops. I would work out money that we've got to go and do this because I was a bit older.

I have been caring for my mum since I was around 5. I don’t know exactly who identified me and referred me to Gloucestershire Young Carers but I know I started with GYC when I turned 8 years old. I think it may have been a family member as I don’t recall anyone else really paying attention to my situation.

When we were younger, GYC mainly giving us a break away from things, taking us on trips and other fun activities. It was mainly just getting us out of the whole responsibility thing. Then we joined the newsletter and that was just awesome because we used to go and do all these stories and it would just be working on a project with people who get what you're going through. It was also the newsletter that got me interested in media and got me doing photography, which then got me doing film, which is what I'm doing now at university. So that kind of started it all off for me in a way. As we got older, we had the respite groups for a while, which were really good. I made loads of friends and had this one mate there. Me and him would just play football for two hours straight. That was once a fortnight and it was awesome, because I didn't get to play football outside of home or school really. Football, is very important to me. So obviously getting to play that was cool. Now, as I’m older It's more just having people to talk to that that actually understands the kind of things that we deal with. When I started uni, that was a whole process that Gloucestershire Young Carers really helped me with. It's also really helped knowing that I'm leaving my sister behind to do everything, but it's also OK because she has support and I need to also focus on my own needs.  

My favourite part, it sounds really cheesy, but probably all the people I've got to meet. When I did the newsletter we met Ollie Phelps from Harry Potter, which was just awesome. We met Mark Lester. He was the original Oliver, which is again, insane. I got to do the ‘We care. We sing’ concert in the cathedral. Which was awesome. Just because, like I love music and stuff, but I don't really get to do it outside my room. I'd probably stick with the newsletter being my favourite though, just because it was what got me started on everything and what I want to do now, so probably that.

My dream for the future is to have my own company and make videos and do photography because thats what I love doing. That's kind of what I want, whether it's going to happen is another question. I'd also love to work on like a Disney project, which sounds really cheesy, but just any kind of Disney project like writing. Screen writing or script writing. That's what I'm getting my best grades in what I really enjoy.  

My favourite thing about where I live is going up Robinswood hill. I always seem to have fun whenever I go up there. And I always seem to get lost…

I like how the different bits of Gloucestershire are all different. Like for example bits of Gloucester have different accents, like with the with the way people talk I really like that because even me and Caitlin have different accents. I'm really posh and she's got a really thick Gloucester accent. She sounds like a pirate! So like yeah, I like the differences between all the different areas of Gloucestershire!  

I think there needs to be more awareness around young carers because for example my old college that I went to, my teacher thought I got paid for looking after my mum. I wish he did give me a bit of credit in a sense so he understood I had things to deal with. There's still a massive lack of awareness out there. So I guess more awareness so that people actually understand what young carers are going through on a daily basis.  

June 18, 2024

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