Meet Elle, April and Andy – three outstanding young people who are using their personal experiences to help others
8 June 2012 0 comments
One of the projects we support through our charitable programme, Building Better Futures, is the Action for Children’s Young Carers programme.
This supports children who, often from an early age, have to shoulder the daunting responsibility of being the prime carer for a parent or another member of their family. Funds raised by Balfour Beatty employees and matched by the company are used to give these deserving young people the opportunity to take a much-needed break from their responsibilities and meet up with others in a similar situation.
Elle, April and Andy are three former young carers who, having met though Action for Children’s young carers service in North Lanarkshire, have gone on to work with Action for Children. No one knows about the challenges young carers face better than they do – and reading about their experience really brought home to me just how much children in this position have to cope with. It also made me feel really proud that, through Building Better Futures, we can make a difference to their lives. Here’s an extract from April’s blog:
“Hey guys, I’m April Brazil and I am also a young person’s practitioner, employed by Action for Children through funding from the STV Appeal. I am 18 and I’m from Motherwell. I attended the young carers service from the age of 13. I care for my younger brother who has Downs Syndrome and is very vulnerable.
I need to help him a lot as he can’t read or write and has no awareness of safety at all. I help him with personal tasks, like dressing, as well as spending time with him when other people leave him out. I also care for my dad who has a number of disabilities including motor neurons disease, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes and a brain injury. He is wheelchair-bound.
I help my mum with tasks around the house, such as tidying up, doing washings and taking my dad and Declan to hospital or doctor appointments. This means I sometimes miss out on stuff with my friends.
Action for Children changed my life completely. The service has done so much for me – building confidence, making new friends and learning new skills. It provided a wee break from my caring role and was always such a great laugh.”
I’m not sure how to follow that – other than to say to a huge thank you to everyone who so generously donates their time and money to support Building Better Futures – as you can see, it really does make a difference.
What do you think?
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