Search

Young carers need more support, says Norfolk teenager who looks after her mother

PUBLISHED: 09:37 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 22:38 21 December 2017

Charlea Medcalf, 16, has cared for her mother since she was six years old. Photo: Norfolk Family Carers

Charlea Medcalf, 16, has cared for her mother since she was six years old. Photo: Norfolk Family Carers

Nofolk Family Carers

It is a time when everyone should get a chance to put their feet up, spend time with others and enjoy the festivities.

But for teenage carers like Charlea Medcalf, who since the age of six has cared for her mother, Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year - when they find themselves taking on an even greater burden.

The responsibilities for Charlea, now 16, are so great that she has to wrap her own presents.

And now Charlea has called for more government support for young carers.

She said: “I don’t have much of a social life - I’m either working, studying or helping my mum.

“I have struggled with my mental health over the years.

“I wish politicians would give more of a chance to people like us - we’re seen as minorities but we could really do with more support.”

Donna has serious health conditions which have resulted in her having multiple operations. Charlea helps her mum by cooking, cleaning and doing other housework, as well as providing emotional support.

For the first time this year, they will be spending Christmas Day just the two of them.

Charlea said: “I’ll be doing the shopping this year as the weather has been so bad it’s dangerous for my mum to go out.

“I just have to make sure everything is sorted for Christmas.

“I’ll be wrapping my own presents too, like I do every year.”

The 2011 Census found more than 5,700 carers under the age of 25 living in Norfolk, although the true figure is thought to be much higher.

Charlea, who studies politics, philosophy and photography at City College Norwich, regularly attends Young Adult Carers Drop-In Sessions, hosted by Transitions, a project aimed at supporting people like Charlea.

Transitions is part of the Big Lottery-funded Young Adult Carers in Norfolk which offers one to one support for 16 to 24-year-olds by providing advice, workshops and just someone to talk to.

If you know a young person who is looking after a family member or friend who would benefit from some additional support, call Transitions at Norfolk Family Carers on 01603 219924.

Other news

Yesterday, 15:32

With your help, thousands of people across the county will benefit from a campaign aimed at keeping the elderly and vulnerable warm and cared for this winter.

Yesterday, 14:27

A group of neighbours are preparing to once again dazzle festive fans with their legendary round about Christmas display.

Yesterday, 13:49

A 30ft Christmas tree has been erected as a Norfolk town prepares for its festive transformation - just in time to welcome Santa to its annual Christmas Carnival.

Yesterday, 11:55

Plans to build a farm shop incorporating a cafe and butchery at a farm in Great Ellingham have been approved by planners.

Most Read

Yesterday, 14:27

A group of neighbours are preparing to once again dazzle festive fans with their legendary round about Christmas display.

Read more
Christmas 2018
Yesterday, 11:55

Plans to build a farm shop incorporating a cafe and butchery at a farm in Great Ellingham have been approved by planners.

Read more
Breckland Council
Mon, 22:05

Residents in Wymondham could face another day of disruption to their water supply as work continues to fix a burst water main.

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Witnesses have described their shock at the moment armed police had to clear a town centre square while they confronted a man.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:36

Hundreds of villages in the region are at risk of becoming “fossilised” and trapped in a cycle of decline due to failures in planning policy, a report has found.

Read more
West Norfolk

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 3°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy