Knowing it can be difficult to juggle the demands of everyday life with looking after a loved one, Julie Sivier wants to see more understanding around the role of young carers.
The 17-year-old from the Orkney Islands, cares for her mum who has diabetes and social anxiety.
She has made a film with Fixers to shine a light on what it’s like to be a young carer and also show others in her situation that there is help out there if they need it.
‘My mum was diagnosed when I was eight. Looking after her has become normal for me,’ says Julie.
‘She often needs help around the house, picking up medication or with shopping, but a lot of the time it’s being there for her in general.
‘I’ve had to grow up pretty fast and feel like I’ve learned how to be more independent than many others my age.
‘It can get frustrating when you can’t always go out with your friends because your mum needs you, plus juggling school work brings its own challenges. But mostly I feel proud to know that I’m helping someone.’
Julie, who is a member of Orkney Young Carers, has created an animation with Fixers, which highlights the story of a young boy who cares for his dad who has Multiple Sclerosis.
While the story is fictional, it represents a typical situation that many young carers find themselves in.
‘The film is great,’ adds Julie. ‘It really gets our message across of what life can be like as a young carer.
‘We hope to share it in schools and other public places as we want as many people to see it as possible.
‘We want young carers to know that there are many other people who know exactly what they’re going through. It’s about raising enough awareness and showing them they’re not alone in this.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.