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Alicia, 17, has written a blog about what being a young carer during lockdown has been like.

Now although I don’t care for someone who is immunocompromised or classed as a high risk to catching the coronavirus, lockdown has still been a challenge for me.

Most families are enjoying being at home 24/7 as it means they can spend quality family time together but for someone like me being ‘locked in’ with my mum is probably my worst nightmare.

Caring for a parent with mental illness can be draining at the best of time let alone not getting the opportunity for some time out for example. For me school was an escapism so simply it allows me to act my age, Covid19 has taken that away from me.

Being a young carer has always been stressful but add in a global pandemic and you have a recipe for stress highway. The simple acts of respite I took for granted.

In lockdown instead of focusing on remote learning for my yr12 exams I was focusing on filling out DWP paperwork for my mum who lost her job due to coronavirus. Being a young carer it’s not all about looking after the person – it’s ensuring that everything is in place for them to be themselves, it’s ensuring they are happy when everything else in the world is wrong.

I’m 17 years old and I put my mum’s wellbeing before my own education that just shows what life is as a young carer, pandemic or no pandemic. That just shows what I give up, I know no different. This pandemic has changed my life, it has changed everyone’s lives. As a young carer my life originally was never ‘normal’ but what’s ‘normal’ especially in a global pandemic.

Being a young carer isn’t a bad thing if anything it’s shaped me to be the person I am today, yes it might have been an unconventional journey and still has some rocky paths ahead but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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