Twenty-year–old Daniella has been her mum, Rosemary's, sole carer for five years.
Her mum’s mobility issues are a constant, serious worry. But more recently, the day-to-day needs of paying for groceries, gas and electricity have become a much bigger concern.
Worries that have led to Daniella thinking of leaving her studies for a BSc in Engineering at Northampton University. Worries that have also led to visits to food banks and urgent pleas for financial support from their local carer organisation.
Shireen Stuart, Young Adult Carers Support Officer, Carers Trust Heart of England, Coventry said: ”I would like to add how brilliantly Daniella is doing as all of our young adult carers have been during these hard times.
“It has been a pleasure to support Daniella around her caring role especially with offering workshops in budgeting, applying for benefits and learning about the costs of running a household.
“We have been able to support our young adults with cooking sessions and food packages which has helped them to prepare food to freeze and also learn about nutritional values.“
Daniella said: “The cost-of-living crisis got me wondering if I should drop out of university, to just work and try to get money - not only for our essential needs like groceries, energy and gas bills, but also to save for us both.
“I really want to invest money in my future now so that, God willing, as I get to the age of 30 and maybe start a family of my own, I won’t have to worry about where I'm getting money from, as I constantly do right now.
“I would also be able to still take care of my mum with the money I invest into her savings.”
Finances improved somewhat recently when Daniella started working as a Support Worker for a care home. She tries hard to plan to be able to manage her caring role, studies and paid job, but it is a real struggle because things can change at any time.
“It's hard because I have so much on my mind that I'm not looking after myself at all well. I was advised to see a mental health counsellor in February by my GP doctor as he saw that I was struggling to cope.
“It is not easy having my spare time taken up with the care job. I don't really get to enjoy my 20s. It has been like this since I started being mum’s carer aged 15 as well as attending 6th form. I always feel like I’m missing out. I haven’t seen some of my friends in years. When I go on social media or see people around my age walking with their friends or having fun, I find it very difficult. I feel I'm constantly moving. As soon as I get back from university I have to care for my mums needs whether it be taking her for appointments or making her food, before I can focus on my own studying or rest.”
Things have improved dramatically since Daniella got back in contact with Shireen at Young Adult Carers at Carers Trust Heart of England.
“I really am happy I got back in touch with the Young Adult Carers service as I am able to meet others that are in a similar situation to me. Also I get to enjoy my youth as well as go to places I’ve never been to before. It is an up- to-date service which offers many opportunities. Shireen has really helped me out with learning new skills.
“I really hope the young adult carers service never changes as it really takes your mind of worrying and stress.“