At Enfield Carers Centre we have staff dedicated to the support of children and young people aged 5 – 18 who are undertaking a caring role.
Brother and sister Josie, 11, and Jamie, 9, are two young carers who help their parents care for their sisters. They told us about their lives and the support they get from Enfield Carers Centre Young Carer service.
When did you start caring?
“I was nearly two when my brother and sisters were born. But I started caring at the age of four.” Josie
“I am a triplet with my sister Phoebe and Amelia. I was about four when I started caring for them.” Jamie
What sorts of things do you do to help?
“I give my sisters water through the gastrostomies. I operate the minibus lift and clamp the wheelchairs in. When Mum and Dad are changing my sisters’ nappies we hold their hands. When we get them dressed to go out we put their jackets on back to front and blankets on their laps.” Josie
“We put fluffy socks on their feet to keep them warm. We have to programme a special pump which feeds them through their tubes. I entertain my sisters with toys if Mum and Dad are busy.” Jamie
What do you like doing at your Young Carers club?
“We get a break and I like the food and new things we do. We went on a trip to feed the llamas and we got to go in their swimming pool. It was really fun.” Josie
“I like coming to young carers so we get a break, make new friends, try new things and have fun and act our age. I love the trips. Most of them are really exciting. The leaders at young carers are all fantastic.” Jamie
Is there anything you find hard about being a Young Carer?
“School is hard after no sleep but we still have to go. I don’t always feel like helping. I would rather play. I can’t get annoyed but I don’t have much choice. Mum and Dad need our help. They can’t do it all as they get stressed.” Josie
“It is very tiring and little sleep makes the next day very hard. When we go out we have to search for disabled [accessible] toilets. It can be really boring having to find a place to change my sisters’ nappies and because there are two of them it takes ages. I don’t honestly like helping change my sisters’ nappies because it stinks to high heaven! I do like playing with them but sometimes they hit me, scratch or pull my hair but they don’t mean to.” Jamie
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“I want to be an animator and write stories as I like being creative and sharing ideas.” Josie
“I want to be a chef – I like cooking for people and trying new recipes.” Jamie