Christmas can be a very hard time for young carers.
Their caring goes on, no matter what season it is. In fact, young carers often take on extra responsibility over the holidays, when their younger siblings are off school and other services supporting their family are particularly stretched.
Please help us to be there for young carers like Sam by making your Christmas gift today.
Last year, thanks to people just like you, we were able to provide practical and emotional support to 207 young carers. We provided more than 60 young carers with a Christmas gift and 70 young carers and their family members enjoyed a much-needed break at our fantastic Christmas party at Sheffield's Skate Central.
Next year, we want to be able to do just that – and more. We want to continue providing young carers – some of Sheffield’s most vulnerable children and young people – with one-to-one and group support. We want to continue giving young carers a proper break from their caring and the chance to make friends and have fun through our regular holiday activities. But most of all, we want to continue identifying as many of Sheffield’s 7,300 young carers as we can, so that they know they’re not alone.
Young carers like Sam
Sam* was 14 when he joined Sheffield Young Carers. He had been a carer since he was six, when his mum was diagnosed with various mental health issues. He also cared for his two disabled younger siblings and in the last year his dad had become very ill, developing brain and heart problems which significantly affected his mobility and health.
Here is Sam’s story, told in his own words:
“I do pretty much everything for my brothers. It can be really tough sometimes but I just get on with it. Sometimes I have to stay at home to look after my mum too, as she can’t be on her own at all. I used to skip school to help look after her when she was bad – I was just too worried to leave her.
“Before I joined SYC, I didn’t feel human. It was like everyone was normal but I wasn’t. I used to get bullied and beaten up after school because they knew I had low self-esteem and wouldn’t tell my parents.
“Then I got referred and I started having one-to-ones with Sheffield Young Carers in school. It really calmed me down having some time to myself to talk – we looked at managing my anger and building my confidence together and it started the cogs turning for me. I joined an SYC group and it was the best opportunity of my life – it really turned my life around.
“At the group, I finally met people who were young carers like me and who understood and liked me. Meeting other young carers made me feel so much better about myself.
“SYC has made me feel proud of myself and built my confidence so much – it’s like I’m in a different world. It’s been a heck of a journey but now I’m on the right track, thanks to SYC, I know I won’t ever fall off again.”
We're extremely proud of all the young carers we support. Please help us to help more young carers like Sam by making your Christmas gift today.
*We have changed Sam's name to protect his identity.