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Light at the end of the tunnel

by Michael Ford last modified 17 Sep, 2021 10:17 PM

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life for all of us, but its effects have hit young people particularly hard. The Children's Society has a number of featured stories: here is just one.

Fifteen-year-old Phoebe, a young carer, tells us what life has been like for her.

She says:

‘I started caring for mum when I was about two or three years old, as she struggles quite badly with epilepsy and mental health. I sometimes have to give up a lot of time to help my mum, and if she’s feeling really bad, I will help her on the toilet and help her in the bath.

‘If mum’s unwell, I will usually put her first and leave my schoolwork and coursework and see to it later. It’s never nice to see the person you love in pain, but you help them knowing that what you’re doing is having a good impact on them and their health.

‘When Covid first happened, mum’s anxiety got quite bad – she wouldn’t stand outside, she was that scared. I’d go and do the food shops for her. I’d get people saying that my parents should be out doing the food shop, so I’d usually go early, when there wouldn’t be hardly anyone in the shops.

‘My mental health was also affected by lockdown, because of the isolation and the fact that I didn’t have my set routine, and I wasn’t able to go out and see friends and go to school. I was at home all the time, and I didn’t have that break. I was also looking after Mum more because she was quite ill during lockdown. I had to be there and help her, as we didn’t have any professionals coming in to help.

‘I’ve had so much support from everyone, but it’s made it harder not being able to see them in person. But it still helps talking online and having Zoom calls.’

During the pandemic, The Children’s Society has been working with churches, schools, communities and young carers support services like Caring Together to stay in touch with thousands of children like Phoebe who found themselves cut off from the help they usually rely on.

Thanks to the work of The Children’s Society and its supporters, so many vulnerable young people can still access support and look forward to a brighter future. As Phoebe says:

‘There’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and everything happens for a reason, it may not be a good reason but there’s always something good comes out of it.’

Visit to find out more.

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