Jessica, a Young Carer

Jessica is 13 and a Young Carer. Carl and Stacey, her mum and dad are also carers to twin boys Daniel and Sam who are 10 and have ASD and Global Development Delay.

Jessica loves her brothers and is more than happy to help her mum and dad with their caring responsibility.

Jessica is just starting out her journey as a teenager and the path is not easy for most, but as a Young Carer, Jessica is feeling increasingly alone.

Daniel and Sam are supported by the Crossroads Care Surrey Children’s Club, Funtastic. The club provides care for children with disability, complex needs and medical conditions which mean they require full-time care and as such when the boys attend the club, Jessica can have a respite break. The boys love Funtastic, based in Walton-on-Thames at Burview Hall and can communicate to their parents through their actions really just how much they enjoy their time, meaning Jessica, Carl and Stacey can go off and enjoy their day knowing the boys are safe and cared for. It’s all about peace of mind.

Jessica really benefits from one-to-one time with her mum and dad when the boys are at their club. It’s her special time to talk to her parents about school, friends and how she is feeling about her place in the family unit.

Carl, Jessica’s father says: “Giving Jessica her own space on a Saturday to enjoy a shopping treat or take her and her friends out to the cinema and for a pizza is vital because having friends over to the house isn’t always easy”.

Crossroads have given me back something I thought I’d lost, which is time for me. The charity have been pivotal in helping me keep a bit of my social life, giving me time to explore my creative side and allowing those all-important moments when I’ve been so exhausted I needed extra time to sleep.

Genevieve

Genevieve is a lone full-time carer for her father David, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease and multiple other health issues. Genevieve is also dealing with her own chronic illness, auto-immune disease. Genevieve says: “The two medical conditions combined aren’t a match made in heaven but the Crossroads Care team have made it possible for me to attend various appointments at my local GP surgery as well as the hospital”.

Genevieve goes on to say, “they’ve given me back something I thought I’d lost, which is time for me. Crossroads have been pivotal in helping me keep a bit of my social life, giving me time to explore my creative side and allowing those all-important moments when I’ve been so exhausted I needed extra time to sleep”.

Life as a carer can be incredibly difficult. It strains all areas of your life from mental health, to relationships, to finding time to do something for yourself. Simple things like shopping, getting a haircut, going for a walk or reading are things that become logistically difficult. You have no time and have no or very little support.

“I love my Dad”, says Genevieve, “but those few hours I get without him, knowing that he is well care for and happy, means I can relax a little bit… and recharge. Crossroads allows me the time to look after myself so I can look after my Dad.”

When my husband died, you stayed so calm and got tea for everyone as if by magic. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated you being here for me. Thank you.