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Young Carers Action Day series: Meet Dante - Budding Videographer

Fair Futures for Young Carers 

This year Young Carers Action Day’s takes place under the theme of ‘Fair Futures for Young Carers’. But what does that really mean if you’re a young carer? We travelled to Harrow to meet four young adult carers to find out. They’re all on the path to their dream future now. But only after they got the right support at the right time to help them juggle the pressures of their caring role with getting their foot on the career ladder.

This is Dante’s story

Image credit: Halena HuckerDante, 18, has cared for his mum ever since he can remember. But once he started secondary school at the age of 11, he became “fully committed” to being his mum’s primary caregiver and felt an intensification of his caring responsibilities.

“Starting high school really gave me a sense of maturity, and made me face up to the role and try and take care of her even more,” he said.

Many teachers at his school did not understand his situation.

“There are a select few teachers who, once you open up to them, have empathy towards you and give you support. But some teachers are not always aware. They immediately just think you’re a bad student and jump to conclusions,” he said. “I just wish they could take a step back – maybe if I’m late to school, it’s because I am caring for someone.”

Things could not have been more different at Harrow Young Carers, however. Dante has been using the support service for young adult carers there for over a decade and has always felt they listen to him and understand his situation. This is down to the amazing personal support provided by Kevin Lema (Young Adult Carers Lead) and others at the centre.

“Harrow Young Carers provide a safe space. It’s given me so much space to relax and be myself. They offer some amazing trips and opportunities for young adult carers to support them at school, in jobs and at university,” he said.

As an aspiring videographer and photographer, Dante was able to apply for - and secure - a grant from Carers Trust to buy a new camera, thanks to great support from Kevin.

“It’s boosted my career, I’ve started posting my photos and videos online and been able to do some filming for Harrow Young Carers which is great experience. The stuff they offer here is so good, it actually helps a lot,” he said.

And if Dante is ever caught up with his caring responsibilities and unable to attend a potential filming opportunity, Kevin and the team conscientiously try to attend in his place, so that professional connections are still being made on his behalf.

“Sometimes I’m not able to go out and film, because I have to take care of my mum,” he said. “But Harrow Young Carers always support me and go out and do a lot of the networking for me, and do a lot of the legwork for me, which helps a lot.”

This type of support is a great example of how simple yet thoughtful actions by professionals can have a big impact on young adult carers, and could be the difference between them achieving their dreams, or not.

With this year’s Young Carers Action Day theme in mind, we asked Dante, what does ‘Fair Futures for Young Carers’ mean to you? He said, “A fair future for me as a young carer is where – because of the support I get – I don’t actually notice the difference between me and my peers. If they’re at a certain level, I want to be at the same level as them and not lagging behind.”

Find out more about Young Carers Action Day and this year’s theme of ‘Fair Futures for Young Carers’ here and read our other blogs in this series here.

 

Image credit: Halena Hucker 

 

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