A few weeks ago I mentioned that in October I will be running the 2021 London Marathon for the Children’s Society. Your response has already been amazing and I am extremely grateful: The early, very generous donations have set me well on my way, and from conversations I know that many more of you will be supporting me, which fills me with gratitude and humility!
I appreciate that there is a huge number of good causes out there, doing genuinely good work in a number of different areas; unfortunately there is much about the world what could be better, but it is always amazing to see how many of us are making it our business to be part of this positive change!
It is exactly the ways in which the Children’s Society are making such a change that I wanted to highlight through a new series of posts: through it I will endeavour to showcase the real impact they have had on the lives of children and young people through real stories (although names and personal information will be changed, for obvious reasons).
Each post in the series will look at a different area of their work, and today we start with:
Since 10 years old, Molly has looked after her mum, dad, nan and step dad. But she hasn’t let caring get in the way of a bright future. Since joining our young carer programme, Molly has become more focused on her dreams and she regularly speaks out for young carers’ rights.
Looking after the family:
‘From the age of about 10 I’ve been looking after my mum, my nan, my dad and step dad. I started off looking after my mum who had a slipped disc and a pacemaker fitted.
My nan is registered blind, my dad had a head injury a few years ago and he lost a lot of his memory, and then my step dad had an aortic valve replacement four years ago that went wrong.’
Molly cooks, cleans, picks up medicine and pays the bills. But she hasn’t let that stop her, she’s grown in confidence and she’s finding the time to pursue her dreams.
Becoming a champion:
Molly only found out she was a young carer at 14. She was then referred to our young carer programme. ‘It helps to give young carers a break once in a while, which we so desperately need. They do this through one-on-one or group meetings and trips to take our mind off things, like the annual Young Carers Festival.’
She is now a champion for young carers. It has given her a new focus.‘I’m very keen to help other young carers, as there are so many out there, younger than me, who do so much more. I raise awareness about the issues that young carers face and what my life is like being a carer.’
Building a movement of young carers:
‘Young carers are becoming more outspoken – positive things are happening for young carers that I know have helped me and will help other people, so I just want that to keep on happening.’
‘If there are any young carers out there, I want them to know they are not alone, that there are others out there like them, and that there are people around that who will help, and who won’t judge.’
Through our young carer programme, Molly has grown in confidence. She’s made friends and discovered a life beyond caring. ‘I’ve managed to talk on radio, talk in newspapers about being a young carer about how it’s changed my life.
Her work with young carers has won her an award from David Cameron and has also influenced her in the choice of her degree. She has graduated with a First Class degree in Journalism.
I hope you will agree that it is a cause worth supporting and that you will choose to make a donation through my JustGiving page.
Words and images are from the Childern’s Society website, with their permission. To learn more about The Children’s Society’s work with young carers, please visit the relevant page here.
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2021 London Marathon