Caring Chloe is an inspiration for everyone

Chloe juggles her University degree and being a Young Carer for her brother. EMN-180129-161449001
Chloe juggles her University degree and being a Young Carer for her brother. EMN-180129-161449001

Chloe is a law student at the University of Lincoln.

For the last three years, she has cared for her brother.

He suffered a brain injury which has resulted in amnesia.

Chloe is one of almost 1,500 young people under the age of 19 who have a caring role with the family home.

Chloe says she is grateful that support she receives has enabled her to continue her education at university.

She said: “Being at university allows me to create an independent identity;

“I am a law student, ambassador, school rep but I am also a carer following my brother’s brain injury.

“By encompassing all of my qualities, and with greater awareness, understanding and empathy for my role as a carer, I have been offered greater flexibility and support which has enabled me to achieve all I want in aspects of university life.”

At least, she has the support of Lincolnshire County Council.

However, statistics suggest there are many more young people across the county who have not identified themselves as carers and are missing out on vital support.

The county council is keen to reach out to as many of those youngsters as possible.

That’s why the authority is supporting Young Carers Awareness Day to ensure young people who are caring for a loved one get the support they needed.

Coun Mrs Patricia Bradwell, executive member for adult care and children’s services, said: “We’re continually inspired by stories of young carers who achieve so much not only their support to family members they care for but also in their achievements at school and contributions to their communities.

“I’d like to encourage all young carers and the people around them to tell us what would help in identifying and supporting them.”

Debbie Barnes, director of Children’s Services, added: “In Lincolnshire, we want to ensure every young carer is recognised, valued, and supported to have good health and wellbeing, and achieve their full potential. So it’s important we work in partnership with children, young people and families to help provide services and support that they need.

“Young people not only have to cope with the complexities of growing and learning, but also that of their parents or siblings’ health conditions, preventing them from enjoying childhood in the way other children do. It’s a challenge no one, regardless of age, should face alone.”

On average, two young carers in every UK secondary school miss or cut short around 10 weeks of school each year because of their caring role.

•The Lincolnshire Young Carers Service helps and supports children and young people up to the age of 19 who are helping to care for someone at home.

•You can contact Lincolnshire Young Carers by phoning 01522 553275, emailing youngcarers@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

•The Lincolnshire Carers Service support young adult carers aged 16-24 and can be contacted on 01522 782224 or by emailing CarersService@lincolnshire.gov.uk