Hi – I’m Harley. I’m 16 and just a month ago I started getting support from Gloucestershire Young Carers as I am a young adult carer for my sister who has complex health issues. My involvement with GYC started with a visit from Jess who runs the Young Adult Carers Service for ages 16-24. She was really friendly and the great thing was that I knew she understood me. When I’ve explained my caring role to people in the past they don’t always get it but she did straight away. I felt confident talking about my family as I knew she would try and help us. And she has.

Last Sunday I went to my first GYC activity which was ‘Live Well’ – a health and wellbeing event just for young adult carers. At first I was a bit nervous but when I arrived I was welcomed by Jess with a big smile and knew it would be okay. She introduced me to people and the other young adult carers accepted me instantly. The room was full of friendly faces and I soon got chatting to loads of people…with a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake!

During the event we got to attend workshops on different areas of health and taking care of ourselves. I learned about drug and alcohol awareness, watched a health cooking demo which was fun and took part in the ‘fast fitness’ class. There were also workshops on anxiety, sleep hygiene and a yoga session plus a big buffet with nice healthy food. The fitness class was really fun and Ramsay (who volunteered to run the session) showed us some exercises to do at home. I’ve even used the exercise plan since.

Live Well was a break from my stresses. I got to connect with people who understand me and are going through the same stuff. It felt like a break from reality! I feel more confident already and have made new friends. I know I can rely on GYC in the future. I’m really impressed with them as a charity and I can’t wait until the next activity!