Ruth's story

I am currently in my 5th year of high school and doing five Highers which are mainly essay based subjects. I do a bit of volunteering with Young Scot and Carers Trust Scotland. I enjoy reading, watching tv and spending time with family and friends. I help my mum care for my dad who is in a wheelchair due to a genetic condition.

I want to go into study law at university with the hopes of either becoming a solicitor or advocate; right now, I am really interested in human rights law and find it a very interesting subject which I can’t wait to learn more about.

The concerns I have about employment opportunities like having a job while still in school is balancing schoolwork and study, my caring role and having the time to take care of myself while having a job. I do have some worries about going to university as I went through a period in high school when my dad first retired where I worried as he was home alone for the first time in a long time. I just worry that when I go to university what if something happens and I’m not there to help my mum or brother. I think that makes me a bit anxious about moving away from home.

I think the support that would benefit me, and other young carers, is being aware of the opportunities that they can take and that while they have other things in their lives that people in their classes might not have, they still deserve the same opportunities and can achieve just as much as other people. I think young carers need more support in going onto further education and knowing how they can get help, having teachers who understand their situation so they can help rather than make things harder for them.

One thing I think would really help young carers is a way for universities to be able to find out who is a young carer and maybe reach out to them as it can be very hard for some young carers to talk about their story and what they do. I also think having PSE (personal and social education) lessons in school, as well as having lessons on bullying, LGBTQ, racism, and topics like that but on young carers and disabilities. I think there is a stigma around disabilities that needs to be broken but also one around young carers and the more people talk about it there will be a greater awareness and people may talk about their experiences more.