Young Adult Carer Chloe wins Bury Young Citizen of the Year Award 2018

Chloe resides in Bury St Edmunds and recently approached us for additional support in her caring role. Chloe cares for her brother and has made huge sacrifices to ensure his needs are addressed. Chloe has also shown great awareness and maturity in understanding the needs of her parents and wider family as this caring role can have a huge impact on everyone involved. Below Chloe gives a great insight in to what it is like as a young adult carer....

So… Johnathon, my brother, has Spastic Cerebral Palsy which effects mainly his right side. As he has grown older he has become a lot more independent but still relies on me and on mum.

My daily routine is to wake up at 5am and get myself ready. I then get Johnathon’s lunch bits ready to allow him to pack his lunchbox himself. I have to ensure I encourage him in this process all whilst trying to collect my own things to pack my bag… all to leave the house by 6.30am.

I have to get the train and bus to Beyton. On my journey to college, I normally try and get some college work done. I am then working non-stop until I get home at around 4.30pm.

Once I am home, I drop my things in the necessary places and then get the dinner on the go. During this time, I also encourage Johnathon to undertake the little jobs we have given him. This is to ensure he can remain responsible and is enabled and not disabled. He then normally goes upstairs and does ‘normal’ teenage things like playing on his electricals! During this time, I try and get some jobs done myself and continue to cook the dinner. I also work on certain days so I will often be getting ready for work too. Normally, at this point, my mum has arrived home and we then do things together. I finish off the dinner and do the dogs dinner.

That’s pretty much my day over by dinner time which is around 8pm. I normally do some school work for a while, or if I have done everything, I can relax for a bit.

As for volunteering… I do one day a week in my main school where I teach year 8’s Chemistry. I then do a Friday to Sunday with the church as a youth leader. We do all sorts there like run a youth club and other activities. On a Sunday, my day is spent looking after babies through to 10 year olds. I also volunteer when I can at an elderly care home. This is so rewarding.

Balancing all of this does not come easy whilst studying for 5 A levels (double Health & Social, Chemistry, Maths & Further Maths) and a part time job, but to know that in two more years I will have 5 A levels to start my life with, it seems worth it. I will also have volunteering on my CV and i will still help my brother to strive everyday in his work and maybe still working which will be amazing! I simply can’t wait for the future and what comes my way. I know there will be big challenges ahead from my health, mentally from my work and from my caring role but I am prepared.

I don’t feel as though Johnathon having Cerebral Palsy has effected our family that much – he is family to us and he is not a burden on us wanting to do things. We all do it because we love him. If we can’t go somewhere because it is not wheelchair accessible then ‘oh well’, we can find somewhere else. We truly don’t mind. I love him with all my heart and i will guard him with my life until the day I can’t.