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Young carer: ‘It’s somewhere you can go to have a rant and people won’t judge you’

Bucks Carers chief exec Stephen Archibald

Bucks Carers chief exec Stephen Archibald

A teenage carer who struggled with her brothers’ disabilities has praised an organisation for helping and supporting her.

Jane Smith, 14, first got involved with the youth group at CarersBucks three years ago when her counsellor at secondary school put her in touch.

Her brother Tom, 21, suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Tourette’s syndrome.

Her other brother Adam, 19, was diagnosed with autism when he was 14.

Jane said: “For about six years, I hated Adam. I couldn’t bear to be in the same room as him.

“I’d go to bed and suddenly he would come in my room, switch on the light and bang on the door.

“He wouldn’t do this just once; he’d keep doing it for about an hour so I’d be very tired at school the next day.”

Jane and her mum Angela, of Aylesbury, are just two of the 49,000 unpaid carers across the county, and CarersBucks on Oxford Road is encouraging other ‘hidden carers’ to come forward and accept help and support.

The charity helps carers by offering emotional support and ensuring their voice is heard.

The Smiths’ case ties in with Carers Week, which was from June 9 to 15. The week is an annual country-wide campaign which aims to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for.

The charity’s chief executive Stephen Archibald said: “Carers Week is a fantastic opportunity for us to recognise the incredible work young and adult carers do, and to reach out to new carers and let them know we are here to support them.”

Jane’s confidence has grown thanks to the Young Carers scheme, where she has met others her age who are in the same boat.

The youngster has just enrolled on some cookery courses – something Angela could never find the time to do with her.

Jane said: “You can have a rant and know people won’t judge you. I’ve met a whole new set of friends and I always look forward to meeting up with them.”

Angela said: “We as a family have benefited from their support and it’s good to know they’re just a phone call away.” For more, visit www.carersbucks.org.

 

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