Life as a young carer is challenging. It can be emotionally distressing and can severely impact a young person’s development.

Tam is a 13 year old young carer who looks after her mum, who suffers with depression, and her younger brother who has autism. For most of her educational years, Tam has been home schooled. Her mum and brother’s condition prevented her from interacting with other people; she rarely had a chance to go out with her family or develop any friendships. She often felt lonely and isolated, but the thought of meeting others in social situations also left her feeling anxious.

Young Devon were able to support Tam to thrive over the year. She engaged with a number of activities offered in our young carer’s project and greatly benefited from having these opportunities! She was able to enjoy time for herself and experience new opportunities such as tree surfing and bowling.

“So much fun, because of my mum’s poor health I would never have been able to go tree surfing without the project taking me”

Through meeting other young carers on the project, Tam has developed friendships with some of them and now also keeps in touch with them outside of the group. This has helped to reduce her feeling so isolated and to raise her confidence.

“Loved hanging out with people I’d not met before, I only knew my sister but now I have made friends with others”

Tam had recently started school, and the initial daunting thought of a big transition had been eased through the opportunity to engage with others in the activities that developed and improved her social skills and confidence.

“Being with the group, it’s like family away from home”

Young Devon are here to make Devon a better place for all young people by reducing disadvantage and improving opportunity. If you, or someone you know need support, come and talk to us!