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A day in the life of a young carer

by Young carers at Willow – 26th Feb 2018

Being a young carer has to fit around our everyday activities and our routines. Despite our caring roles, we still attend school, something we juggle five days a week.


The hardest thing about being a young carer can be not getting enough sleep

I wake up and feel tired and sick

Before I leave for school I would tell my mum to ring me if needed and I’d ring back at lunch time

During the school day

School can make us feel different things…

School can take our mind off things, and allow a break from the caring role, but throughout the day we can worry about the person we care about.

My school lets me call at break time from the office

We really want to be able to call or message to check on them, but unfortunately schools don’t always allow us to use mobile phones on the school premises. Sometimes it feels like no one understands. There aren’t assemblies on being a young carer so it can feel difficult to talk to people about it.

I just stay quiet, I don’t tell my friends or if they ask questions I make excuses

We had an assembly for mental health awareness week, it made me think about my mum a lot and I felt sad

Most of us have support at school – we feel more likely to go talk to a member of staff rather than a classmate, but this isn’t always as thorough as we’d hope for.

They kind of provide support, but something more than just talking would be better

After school

The first thing I do when I finish school is check my phone for messages from my dad

We usually go straight home. It can be difficult fitting everything in; our caring roles often mean that we aren’t able to see friends, do after school activities or even do our homework.

After school, I go see my Mum first and see what she needs help with, after checking on her I get on with my chores

I very rarely go out after school or spend time with friends

Sometimes I haven’t done my homework in time and I have to copy off my friends or rush it last minute

On a Wednesday I go play football, I can’t let the team down but it also feels bad leaving my Mum


Before bed, we make sure everything is taken care of and prepare for the next day.

I get stuff ready for the next day and my stuff for school

The last thing I do before bed is check that my dad has taken his tablets

This blog was written by Elise (13), Yousof (13), Emma (11), Kodi (15), Jude (13), Skye (14), Charlotte (12) and Daniel (12) who are young carers at the Willow Young Carers Service run by Barnardos in Leeds.

Find out more about being a young carer.

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