Kira is a member of the 2020-2022 Young People Sport Panel. She talks about being a young carer, how it impacted her social life and how sport helped take her mind off things for a while.
Being a Young Carer
I was a young carer from the age of 16 and am now a young adult carer for an older relative. Being a young carer can be a little bit scary at times and a difficult task with having that extra responsibility for someone that usually looks after you. Sometimes it can even get lonely as you don’t want to speak to family and friends about it because it’s something that’s hard to talk about and explain.
The amount of time spent in classes worrying about things you couldn’t remember if you’d done or not and then missing out on plans with friends to go home and make sure everything was alright. No one asks you to do things like that, you’re doing it for you - to reassure yourself and then you don’t want to tell other people because they might start to worry, or they’ll feel bad you’re in that position.
Finding Support in Sport
One thing that always helped me was going to football training, it was a regular weekly thing so there was always someone else at home to make sure everything was going smoothly, making dinner, and tidying up. Two evenings a week I got to think of nothing but playing football with my friends. It helped me not only clear my mind but focus on something that was mine and it meant I wasn’t feeling alone.
If I was to suggest anything for any young carers that might forget to take a little bit of time for themselves, I would really recommend joining a sports team or getting a gym membership, going and doing sports a couple of times a week, going on a weekly walk or take the dog a walk.
Being away from those responsibilities no matter how small they might be, doing something fun and good for you is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those who you might be helping.
It might even bring you closer together.
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Young Scot supports young people to share their own voices, views and opinions and works with partner organisations and professionals who are experts in different topics. The views expressed in this blog are those of the young people, organisations and/or individuals who have taken part in the blog, not necessarily the views of Young Scot.