Lauren Hitchin (Donnan) describes herself as a “Young Carer” and says “I didn’t even discover that I was one until last year.” This is a significant issue with young Carers because their responsibilities can be “invisible” and even hidden from the young Carers themselves. Lauren says that if the role is hidden it can be a barrier to accessing the services and resources that they need for support. Caring for her brother was something that she had done “naturally” since she was 14 years of age.
Caring responsibilities can not only impact on the young Carer’s education, social activities and working life, but it can also be challenging having to explain these personal circumstances. At times this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. However, Lauren sees huge benefits in taking on a Caring role. “You can achieve something to be proud of.” It gives a greater maturity, can enhance family relationships, and can be a very rewarding experience, providing there is the right support and services.