'I started caring for my mum and my younger brother after my dad died when I was just 11. Joe has cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy. My mum suffers from osteoporosis and anxiety.'
19-year-old Ella Denton, from Colchester, had to juggle school and her duties at home when she became a carer.
'To begin with I was getting Joe ready for school, doing his dinner, his breakfast, giving him his medication. But later it really escalated,' she says.
'There was the housework, making sure everything was clean, gardening. Everything in the house that needed to be done I was doing it.'
Ella says she didn’t receive any support at school and feels that people fail to realise what being a young carer entails.
Fixers has been helping Ella spread the word that people should be more appreciative of what young carers actually have to do.
The charity arranged for her to tell her story on ITV News Anglia on June 8.
She’s backed up by Heather Hunt from the charity Action for Family Carers.
'Our young carers tell us their biggest challenge is that other people don’t understand their caring role,' says Heather.
'People aren’t aware of what they do and often say things like ‘oh I do that, caring, I help out at home’, which shows a complete lack of understanding about what a young carer is and does.'
Ella says: 'A lot of people think we are just going home and doing the washing up or something small like that.
'They don’t realise you have to cook, you have to clean, you have to do the food shopping otherwise no-one’s going to eat. No-one really sees it.'
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