As part of Carers Trust’s partnership with The Quilter Foundation, Carers Trust launched a Young Adult Carers Steering Group to help co-design and shape our programmes. Bailey is supported by their local Carers Trust Network Partner, which encouraged them to join the Steering Group.
Bailey became a young carer at an early age, supporting their gran living with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as supporting their father with severe mental health issues.
Currently, Bailey cares for their partner who has mental health issues and chronic illnesses. Bailey’s partner uses a wheelchair and requires support with a large range of tasks, such as personal care, emotional support and wellbeing and support with interests and hobbies. A full-time carer since 2016, Bailey was unable to work until recently as their partner’s care needs became more manageable.
Bailey joined the Quilter Steering Group in early 2019 and started getting more and more involved with the group, growing in confidence as time went by:
“I really enjoyed being part of something positive to help influence a grant which is going to help lots of young adult carers. My confidence improved and I got to meet lots of new people which was really good considering I was very isolated before.”
Bailey also started volunteering for their local Carers Trust Network Partner. Both experiences immensely influenced Bailey:
“Volunteering has honestly changed my outlook on life completely. It has given me new career ideas, new passions and interests and enabled me to gain vital experience to help prepare me for work. I discovered through my volunteering how passionate I am about supporting Carers Rights and how much positive change I can influence, just myself which is amazing! Volunteering has given me so much confidence, people skills and hope in the world and people around me. It has changed my life for the better. I wish I had done it years ago!”
Bailey was nominated and shortlisted for a Carer of the Year Award. Spurred on by their experience volunteering for the centre and the Steering Group, Bailey applied for their dream job, securing a role as a Carers Adviser for another carers centre. Throughout the application process, Bailey was also able to get 121 support and advice from a Quilter volunteer:
“I learnt so much and he was so helpful with pointing out things I had missed. It was really practical help which I used on my latest job application and definitely helped me structure my application form in a more professional way. It really helped fill the missing links of my knowledge and I hope has helped me come across more professional to employers in my job search!”
Support from Carers Trust and The Quilter Foundation has helped turn Bailey’s life around. From their involvement with the Quilter Steering Group to local support from the Quilter funded Inspiring Change project – and finally thanks to help from a Quilter volunteer, Bailey’s future looks bright.
“I can’t wait for the challenge though and honestly I have proved to myself that even though my life hasn’t turned out anywhere near where I thought/hoped, I can still achieve things which I am so proud of and can enjoy so much! I thought that not going to university was the end for what I wanted out of a career, and my caring role had just put up roadblocks to everything I wanted in my future but what I didn’t realise it would be the making of me! I’m so passionate and without the experience, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to apply for a job like this and feel able to do it and support others in the same position! It’s my dream job, helping people, helping carers, supporting other people- I honestly couldn’t have been offered a better position!”