At MYTIME, we work tirelessly towards the shared goal of levelling the playing field for young carers.
But why do we do it?
The easiest way for us to answer that question is by sharing with you just one of the sorts of stories we hear from the young carer community every day.
Sadie is thirteen years old. When she wakes in the morning, she takes her mum her tablets, wakes her little brother Tom, and helps him get washed and dressed. She pours him a bowl of cereal, makes him a packed lunch, then takes her mum some breakfast in bed. Her mum can’t stop shaking this morning, so Sadie takes a seat beside her for a while, keen to make sure she’s ok before she leaves for the day.
Twenty minutes later, Sadie gets Tom to school just on time, but by the time she reaches her own school gates, she’s late and is told off by the member of staff on duty. Sadie goes to explain herself, then stops. Mrs Hemming wouldn't understand anyway.
In Geography, Sadie texts her mum to check she’s ok. The teacher spots her and confiscates her phone before Sadie has the chance to see her mum’s reply, and Sadie spends the rest of the day worrying. She can't concentrate on her work without knowing that her mum is alright.
At lunch, Sadie steers clear of the playground. She doesn't want to risk being seen by Kyle. Last week he saw her in the supermarket with her mum, and he's been making nasty comments ever since.
Later, in English, Sadie tells her teacher that she hasn't had time to do her homework. She’s given a detention after school the next day and immediately wonders who will pick Tom up from school.
That night, Sadie makes dinner, then puts Tom to bed. She reads him a bedtime story, then does the washing up. She helps her mum into the bath, and then into bed, and by the time she’s finished, she’s too tired to do her homework. She’ll get in trouble at school again tomorrow. She’ll fall even further behind.
At MYTIME, we do what we do for Sadie and for the other estimated 800,000 young carers just like her who live in the UK. We believe that young carers deserve the support, opportunities and friendship that every child needs. We believe that caring for another human being is perhaps the most important job a person can do, and that the young carer title should be the source of pride and the object of admiration. We believe that no child’s destiny should be defined by their beginning, and that a society that fails to encourage and learn from its young carers wastes one of its most valuable resources. We believe in young carers, and we won’t rest until each and every one of them receives the support, understanding and respect they deserve.
As founder Matthew Barker puts it, “Young carers are amazing, caring individuals who often don’t realise their own essential role in the community. We aim to ensure that young carers have access to improved support, care and education, so that they can become even more valuable members of the community later on. They are an unrecognised asset to our society and we aim to champion them.”