A poem from young adult carer, Holly Cobb, on what the theme of Young Carers Action Day 2024, 'Fair Futures for Young Carers', means to her

Jigsaw pieces  

Is a guilt-informed choice really a choice
If your first thought is not
What do I want to do with my life
How will she cope without me
Is a future really a fair future
If your first thought is not
Actually about your future at all
The future of Mum’s health
The deterioration of Dad’s condition
The unpredictability of my brother’s illness
The entanglement of my dreams with the reality of life
The jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t go together
The pieces of my dreams
Not quite fitting with the pieces of reality
The sharp edges of one
pushing away the other
They don’t slot together.
They are placed side by side
At opposition
And so
When I stop
And think
What does a fair future for young carers look like
It’s a future where the jigsaw completes
Where the pieces slot together
Co-existing in a messy symbiosis
The picture they make
Is not one of perfect simplicity
It is one of love and acceptance
Of patience
The puzzle is boxed in a sturdy emotional and financial package
It is crafted with the same level of care we give to others
The edges carved with the smooth consistency of sustained support throughout childhood
The package is one of unity.