Jake is 20 years old and has helped to care for his younger brother, who is severely autistic and has epilepsy, since he was aged four.

Young adult carer

Jake is at university and is working part time, so is not at home as much now, but he still helps out with his brother when he can.

Jake went on to sixth form after his GCSEs before starting his teaching degree. His last year of sixth form was extremely demanding and it was tough balancing a heavy workload on top of his caring responsibilities. He feels lucky to have benefited from having a very supportive family who were keen for him to do well. Teachers in the sixth form were also aware of his home situation, and outside of school Jake had support from the local Carers Trust Network Partner:

I knew that they were there should I need anything and it‘s just nice to know that there’s support there if you need it.

Since starting university, Jake has not needed to ask for help with any specific needs relating to his caring responsibilities. However, in a one-to-one session with the Head of Course he was able to talk about his caring role so that if, for example, he is late in or misses a deadline, his home circumstances can be taken into consideration by his tutors.

Outside university, his local Carers Trust Network Partner has helped Jake at various times. This has included providing him with a break from his caring role and a chance to do different activities.

It has also helped him access opportunities to raise awareness of the issues facing young adult carers. Jake is involved with NIACE’s national Young Adult Carers Policy Forum, in which he contributes to discussions about policy changes affecting carers, and is on the Carers Trust Media Panel.

I am very happy with what I have received from my local Network Partner. They have been there for me for a very long time and have put me in contact with organisations like NIACE and Carers Trust that have given me a lot of further opportunities.

* Identities and photos of carers have been changed in the interest of privacy.