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Carers Week 2013: Sindi’s Story

14 June 2013

Sindi became a young carer when she was just seven years old, taking on the huge responsibility of looking after her ill mother. Now aged 21, Sindi shares her experience of growing up as a young carer and how, in the face of adversity, she is now embarking on an exciting career path.

Young carer, Sindi

Sindi cared for her mother from the age of seven

At the age of seven, my family and I migrated to the UK from Albania. It was an extremely unsettling and stressful time as we could not speak the language and had not established a support network. I recall constantly moving.

My mum’s life experiences prior to moving to the UK, and the experience of moving to a novel environment, took its toll on her. She developed depression and suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. She would be in and out of hospital and when home, she would be bed bound.

Without knowing it, I began to care for her and was a young carer from the age of seven. Being the eldest of two children, all responsibility fell on me.

My situation failed to improve and my caring responsibilities continued, further deepened and remained unnoticed. I had to grow up extremely quickly and soon came to the realisation that I was the backbone to my family and that it was a struggle for them to function without my help.

My dedication to do well at school overrode my adversities and my hard work proved successful as I completed my GCSEs and attained good grades.

I went on to be accepted at university but due to my caring responsibilities, I was unable to move home. For the first two years I was commuting five hours per day to attend lectures and use the resources at university.

In 2010, my parents separated and, to my relief, my mum’s health began to improve. I moved out of the family home to concentrate on my studies. In 2012 I graduated university with a 2.1 in Psychology.

I began to look for further opportunities where I could acquire new skills.  I came across an internship programme at The Children’s Society, working as a policy and media Intern. I was attracted to working on the Young Carers in Focus (YCiF) project. It is funded by Big Lottery Fund and is an exciting opportunity for young carers to communicate, share stories and raise awareness about the things that matter most to them.

So far, the internship has been extremely beneficial for my future career prospects. I have been able to learn a great deal about policies relating to young people and have also had the opportunity to meet other young carers and see how the YCiF project helps them.

Since starting my internship, I have sought out employment opportunities and recently found out that I have been successful in getting a job at the Cabinet Office.

The afflictions of life have not hindered my performance, if anything, they have taught me to be more tenacious, to make the most out of every opportunity that comes my way and to appreciate everything I have.

What do you think of Sindi’s Carers Week blog? Are you inspired by her story? Leave your comments below or join the Carers Week conversation of Twitter using #CarersWeek

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 17 June 2013 2:02 pm

    Fantastic blog and an inspiring story from a young carer, wishing you more success in all your future endeavours

    • Big Lottery Fund permalink*
      17 June 2013 4:00 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Jane. Agreed – inspiring stuff. Best wishes.

  2. 18 June 2013 9:45 am

    A very well written story and I’m sure others will agree, especially those working and supporting this delicate need for young people.

    • Big Lottery Fund permalink*
      18 June 2013 2:16 pm

      Thanks for your comment on the blog. We enjoyed following the Carers Week conversations and were pleased to get the voices of young carers on our blog. Best wishes.

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