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Young Carers Action Day series: Meet Meera – Aspiring Pastry Chef

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 Meera’s story

Meera, 18, has taken care of her younger brother and sister, who both have autism, since she was 11.

“I’m quite grateful, in a way, to be a young carer,” she says. “It taught me a lot of responsibilities and to be grateful for what you have. But I did have to grow up a bit too fast.”

At first, she didn’t even realise she was a young carer. But one day, a teaching assistant passed her a note during class that asked her to meet in a nearby classroom after the lesson. This turned out to be a young carers drop-in session, where she met other young carers and learned what the term meant.

“I was relieved in a way, to put a label on what I was doing, so I knew what was actually going on my life. I was really thankful for that.”

Her school suggested she join Harrow Young Carers, where there was a huge amount of support and services that could help her.

“They offer after-school clubs, support, therapy, and are always just here for you if you need to talk" she said. They provide so many different activities for us to do, like painting and boxercise, which provides a really nice break for us.”

Harrow Young Carers are supporting Meera throughout her time at college, where she is now studying to become a chef. Some of her teachers there do understand her caring situation, but she still struggles with others understanding why she may be late or miss class.

She always ensures that her ‘about me’ section on the college website explains that she is a young carer, and what this means for her life at home, and at college.

“Some teachers do read it, and ask me to explain it to them, and most understand it, but some…not so much,” she said. “It’s kind of annoying because I have to always explain what I do, and how it affects my time, and how I might not have as much enthusiasm as others when I’m at college, why I’m not 100% present. All teachers should know that there are people that do take care of others.”

With this year’s Young Carers Action Day theme in mind, we asked Meera, what does ‘Fair Futures for Young Carers’ mean to you?

She said, “In the very near future, getting into third year of college to become a chef. And a bit further in the future, becoming a head pastry chef. I used to cook with my mum and dad when I was younger, and this is when I fell in love with cooking, having meals with lots of different colours on the plate.”

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.

 

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