Rachel is 19 years old and has been a carer for her dad since the age of five.

Young adult carer Rachel

Her dad has sleep apnoea which is a condition where he stops breathing when he falls asleep so he has to wear an oxygen mask during the night. He also has psychosis, severe anxiety, depression, sleep paralysis and mobility problems.

I didn't find out I was a carer until I was 18. I went through my whole school and college life with no help from health professionals. No one offered me support when I needed it. I was left on my own to speak to my dad’s doctor and psychiatrist.

When Rachel joined a young adult carers group in 2013 she was very withdrawn and had very low confidence. 

The carers centre gave Rachel opportunities to grow her confidence through taking part in activities and events such as sailing a small yacht from Greenock to Oban for a week with a group of other young people and meeting Nicola Sturgeon at a carers celebration event.

The carers centre has given me a place to escape to, given me someone to talk to and given me somewhere to go when I need help. It has been and still continues to be my lifeline and support.

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