Helping mum out with chores around the house, help washing and styling her hair, assisting with shopping, collecting medication, accompanying her to appointments and providing emotional support. This is what daughters are meant to help with, or so I thought, until everything got too stressful and I began to miss out on catch ups with friends and was late for almost everything. I was having trouble sleeping from the stress of trying to juggle helping mum and living my own life. I had been helping mum since I was 15, this took its toll on my mental health with me being diagnosed with depression and anxiety at 18. 

It was through word of mouth from my friend who I knew was a Young Adult Carer herself that I heard about Inverclyde Carers Centre. She told me I was a Young Adult Carer and advised me to get in touch with the Centre to get support, but I didn’t. It wasn’t until I left college that I recognised myself as a Carer 

Eventually in September 2017 I registered with Inverclyde Carers Centre, by this time I was 24. A Carer Support Worker registered me at home as my anxiety made me nervous about going into the Centre myself. After I registered, I met the Youth Worker in the Centre and she accompanied me to Street League, where I met the other Young Adult Carers. I began attending the Young Adult Carers group on a Wednesday night and it has been one of the best things I have done. I really enjoy the company and support I receive, not only from the Youth Worker but also the other Young Adult Carers 

The activities we get to do as a group in the Centre on Wednesday nights are great. We have done things such as: movie nights, Halloween party, Christmas cheer event, game nights and general catch up with the other Young Adult Carers. We also do activities outside the Centre like trips to the cinema, the trampoline park, daytrips to Edinburgh and pantomimes etc. and on occasion we get to catch up with the Young Carers. 

Through the Centre I accessed a 6-week block of relaxation therapies which has been very beneficial, helping with my anxiety, depression and general wellbeing.  

With support from the Youth Worker I have managed to secure a job and my first flat, so now I have more independence away from my caring role. Having that one-to-one support from the Youth Worker has really helped when I am feeling overwhelmed with my caring role.  

The support I have received from Inverclyde Carers Centre and the other Young Adult Carers has really helped my confidence. Now thinking back to when I was younger, I was a ‘Hidden Carer’ and I wish I had got registered sooner.