Matilda is a young carer for her brother who was born with autism and ADHD. Growing up, her brother needed to receive a lot more attention and therefore Matilda had to learn how to take care of herself and help around the house to make sure unnecessary stress wasn’t caused and to prevent her brother from having meltdowns. She also started caring for her Dad in Year 5, when he became very sick and chronically ill.
This meant spending mornings at breakfast club as her Dad received treatment for his illness, being unable to see friends or go out and many hospital visits. During this time she helped her family by caring for her brother and taking care of herself.
At 15 Matilda started with YCDT and since has developed a passion for walking and ecology through her Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, in which she has completed the Silver qualification and is close to earing her Gold. Through these trips, which YCDT has been able to fund, Matilda has gained confidence and is excited to continue this further into higher education with the support of her Development Mentor.
This passion is now driving me into higher education and university.
Recently YCDT funded Matilda’s trip for her Gold DofE to Swanage as the last step in completing the qualification. She had a fantastic time axe throwing, climbing, caving and walking around Corfe Castle where she heard some spooky ghost stories from the locals!
I had an amazing time and met a lot of new people that quickly became friends. I have been told I passed my DofE section and that is my last step towards obtaining that qualification. So thank you again for this opportunity.
Oliver lives alone with his mother who has very serious physical health issues. Oliver is responsible for ensuring she takes her medication (including injections), cooking the meals and looking after the house. He also cared for his Nan who he described as his “best friend” until she sadly passed away.
He frequently missed school to accompany his mother to hospital. Oliver had a difficult time at school with a combination of numerous missed school days, bullying and dyslexia. Oliver is in the fifth year of his support from YCDT and having completed a highly successful course in carpentry, passed his 6-month probation as a carpenter. Oli is now studying a level 3 apprenticeship in carpentry, taking his skills to the next level.
During my time with YCDT they have supported me in many ways and helped me with reaching my potential. This was through: giving me time to think about my future and how I can achieve it, whilst having a much needed break from caring, when meeting up with my mentor.
It was great that YCDT supported me to have the future I have always dreamt of and never thought was possible.
Cory is a young carer with multiple caring roles for both parents and his younger siblings. Now halfway through his first year of YCDT support, Cory and his mentor have built up a strong relationship with Cory flourishing under the Mentor's guidance. When Cory first started with YCDT his aspirations were to become a motor mechanic; A levels were something he hadn't considered as being for him.
Cory’s thoughts of his Mentor:
At first I was nervous but me and Peter communicated a lot about my anxiety about the future and he really helped get towards my aspirations and realise my true potential.
Since engaging with YCDT, Cory is now talking about going on to do A levels and is particularly interested in history. Cory has developed into considering engineering rather than a mechanic so his aspirations have really grown. He is greatly benefiting from the additional maths tuition arranged through his Mentor and there is very positive feedback from his tutor.
Cory has already started developing relationships with other YCDT young carers, enabling shared experiences and peer support.
Whilst he has only been with YCDT for 1 year, Cory says of the impact on his life:
YCDT has helped me to see that despite my young caring responsibilities, I can go on to go to things like university. The Young Adult Carer Conference in Bristol this year had workshops that helped me realise all the different skills I have developed through all of this and that it has overall made me believe in myself more and have more confidence in myself.
Safi has been a carer since she was 10 years old for her mum who suffers from ME and CFS. She is currently studying film, television, media makeup and hair as a foundation course to enable her to follow her desired career in stage and special effects make up.
Safi’s mum recently sent YCDT some exciting updates:
YCDT has made a big difference to us as a family, by supporting Safi’s travel costs as well as helping to pay for the materials and equipment she needs for her course and to develop her skills.
She was struggling through school and she felt she wouldn’t achieve any of her GCSE’s. School put many things in place to help Safi but sadly then the pandemic hit so we found nothing was different to any other child.
YCDT helped with funding towards a tutor to help Safi with her Maths and English GCSE’s. We’re so grateful as we think it really helped her to achieve the fantastic grades she did. Knowing she had a place at this college, doing what she really wanted to do and enabling her to use her talents spurred her on to study hard.
Prior to starting the course Safi would not venture far from home unless with her family due to anxiety and she would not speak to strangers at all. Since starting at college, her confidence has grown beyond our wildest dreams. She takes the bus on her own everywhere and speaks to strangers with ease. She has now also got a part time job in a restaurant in Bath which she never would have done before.
Her college grades have gone from strength to strength and we have no doubt she will do very well in her overall grades. We also expect her to do very well next year in the Special effects course which she’s very excited to start.
Young Carers Development Trust also helped with a contribution to driving lessons and we are now thrilled to say she passed first time!
As a family we would like to say thank you for the support you have given her so far as it has helped us as a family, seeing her confidence and ability grow so much in less than a year.
Young Carer Tilly shares her experience of working with her Development Mentor.
It’s been really nice to have someone to talk to and get advice from outside of my family. It’s good to know there’s someone there just for me
Ashleigh has been awarded a full bursary through the partnership work YCDT does with the Royal Springboard which means from September, she will be attending St Mary's College.
I never expected an opportunity like this and I can't wait to see where it takes me
Sammy cares for his visually impaired mother. When YCDT first started supporting him, his relationship with his mother had broken down due to the stresses of juggling both caring and studying for his GCSEs (his schooling was suffering significantly). As a result of YCDT support Sammy is now flourishing and has grown academically as well as developing his independence and resilience.
With YCDT’s support Sammy did really well in his A’ Levels and is studying a BA in Business Management at UWE, something Sammy would not have considered he could achieve without YCDT. He feels very strongly that the support he received from his Development Mentors has been a key factor in his success.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I know I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for YCDT.
Scarlett, from Salisbury, is a young carer for her Mother who has mobility issues and epilepsy and her younger brother who suffers from severe asthma. Scarlett has a significant caring role and is extremely busy, with little time to herself. All of our young carers develop a close relationship with their mentor and Scarlett is no exception:
Without the support of Emily (and YCDT) there’s no way I would be thinking about going to university, let alone actually going. I never thought it was something for someone like me.
We are incredibly proud of Scarlett who found school and college very challenging. Scarlett's support has included tuition, trips to universities and a laptop. Scarlett is now studying Pediatric Nursing at UWE and is an Ambassador for YCDT.
There is honestly no way I could have done this without your support
Phoebe has a complex caring role and provides support for her younger sister who has Autism, her Father who has Epilepsy and Crohn's Disease, which includes fits as a side effect, as well as her Mother who has mobility issues. Phoebe has also faced her own challenges, she has Hypermobility Syndrome which can be very painful and her attendance at school has suffered due to this. Phoebe, 16 years old, wants to go to Cardiff University to study midwifery or psychology and then on to Durham University to further her studies into the Medical Field. Phoebe is in her second year of YCDT support which so far has included Maths and English tuition, a bus pass to college, and a laptop light enough for her to carry.
YCDT gave me the support I needed to build my confidence.
I struggled initially to get to university…(My DM) ensured that I carried on with the path I had planned and ensured that I stayed determined to achieve what I could.
(My DM) got tutors to help me in specific subjects and, without the help and support from him, I probably would not have got the grades I wanted. The Trust saw a potential in me.