Hatty Berry, 16, won the Carer of the Year at the Child of Sussex awards earlier this year in recognition of her hard work in looking after her mother, Shona.
Shona has a condition called Fibromyalgia which leaves her with severe muscle pain over her entire body, often incapacitating her. It is down to Hatty to get her mother ready for the day and take care of her in the evening.
Despite her hard work, Hatty feels people do judge her behaviour at school without seeking the underlying causes.
“As it’s only me and my mum in the house it can get quite difficult, and I do feel alone because there’s only me to look after my mum,” said Hatty.
“It is a big stress in my life and a lot of people do not understand. I think a lot of people at school and some of my teachers do judge me and say ‘she’s always tired, she always late for her first lessons’. But there is a reason for it. It’s not just because I can’t be bothered to get up.”
Hatty’s film project sees her focus on the lives of three actors who do misbehave at school, before going behind the scenes to show the possible stresses which maybe influencing their behaviour.
The film also shows Hatty meeting another young carer, Millie Wood-Downie (17), who cares for her mother following a recent stroke.
Hatty also approaches Sue Shank, Brighton and Hove Councillor for Children and Young People’s Committee, to discuss better support for young carers.
You can find support pages for young carers at the bottom of this page.