Off on holiday
Becky is 17 and cares for her sister who has cerebral palsy, and her mum who has multiple sclerosis. Here, she tells us what life is like as a young carer.
Becky's off on a well-deserved break - once she's finished the mammoth task of packing the flip-flops, crutches and medication, that is.
Soon I'll be in sunny Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands. I'm going with my Mam, Dad, sister Nicola, aunt Pauline and cousin Adam. Since my Mam can't do much, I'm doing all the packing. If it was left to my Dad he wouldn't have a clue about what to pack and we'd probably end up wearing the same clothes everyday.
Packing is like taking an entire hospital ward with us - we're taking my Mam's wheelchair, walking sticks, crutches and medication, let alone everything we have to take for Nicola, too! We've decided not to take Nicola's wheelchair as she can walk short distances and we'll be staying pretty close to the beach, pool and, best of all, the shops.
We're really looking forward to this holiday as it'll mean spending two weeks without visiting a hospital or doctor. Let's just hope no-one gets poorly while we're there! Mind you, I won't get a break from caring while I'm on holiday as I'll be doing the same for my Mam and Nicola as I do at home, except I'll be doing it in the hot sun while getting a tan.
I'll be doing the same for my Mam and Nicola as I do at home, except I'll be doing it in the hot sun while getting a tan.
My last holiday was a mini-cruise break to Amsterdam, which was the prize for being a Champion Carer finalist in this year's Champions of the North. To my surprise, I got a letter the other week from DFDS Seaways to say 'well done' for being one of the top three Champion Carers and, believe or not, they offered me another trip to Amsterdam for two people. So guess what - in July I'll be off to the Netherlands for the second time around!
Life has been really hectic for me recently because of all the assignments and the nursery placement I've had to do for my childcare course at college. I don't have much of a social life at the moment apart from when I go to a young carers' group on Monday nights. This is when carers like me can have a right laugh together and let our hair down for a few hours. Most of my other time is spent doing college work or caring for Mam and Nicola.
Well, that's it for now. I have to go and do some more packing - I'll write again when I get back from my holiday!