After becoming a young carer at the age of fourteen, Hannah Williams wants to show others in a similar situation that they don’t have to put their lives on hold while looking after someone they love.
The 20-year-old from the Isle of Wight is highlighting the importance of achieving a balance, by encouraging young people with responsibilities at home to make time for themselves.
‘My Fixers project is about finding ways to escape daily routines,’ explains Hannah.
‘It’s showing young carers that they’re not alone and that there is a way to get away from it all, perhaps by taking up a hobby.’
While Hannah was still at school, her mum developed health problems, which meant Hannah had to step up at home.
Six years later, she’s at college continuing with her studies.
‘I wouldn’t have been able to do it if my family hadn’t pushed me to live my own life,’ Hannah says.
‘I know what it’s like to be a young carer and to think, "Is this how it’s going to be forever?"
‘You can’t always connect with people because you can’t be in a social circle, as you are at home all the time.’
With Fixers, Hannah has created a film to encourage others like her to find ways to relax and take time out to think about their futures.
Painting and reading are among the activities suggested as ways to unwind.
‘I couldn’t be happier with my video,’ Hannah explains.
‘My way of getting away was listening to music. It helped me cope with what was going on.’
Watch Hannah's Fixers film ‘In The Shadows’ at the top of this page.
She plans to organise a screening event to launch her resource and to share experiences.
‘I hope others can find the balance needed to be able to live their lives while still caring for the people they love,' Hannah adds.
‘They should see that their stories have only just begun.’
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Hannah is not the only Fixer to know that life as a young carer can be tough.
Matthew & his team highlight the difficulties of juggling home and school.