ITV’s This Morning is showing a special feature on Nathan and Catherine, two of our Honeypot children, on the 20th and 27th of October 2016 to share their stories as young carers.
Read on to learn more about them:
Catherine, aged 7
Catherine’s mum suffers from multiple sclerosis and visual impairment. She’s also paralyzed down her left side, giving her severe mobility issues. Catherine has had to develop a level of independence beyond her years, and takes on house tasks such as cleaning, tidying and looking out for her mother and little sister.
Visiting Honeypot House was Catherine’s first time away from her family home, and she grew in confidence through her break, befriending her peers and Honeypot staff. Her favourite part of her break was the group outing to Paulton’s Park.
Nathan, aged 9
Nathan’s mum is registered blind, and he supports her as best as he can, essentially being her eyes at home or when going out. The family were also affected greatly by a fire in their tower block, which resulted in the loss of many of their belongings.
At Honeypot, Nathan loves taking part in sport- football, tennis, and basketball- and can showcase his creative side as well by taking part in arts and crafts.
What does it mean to be a young carer?
Our young carers are just children placed in difficult circumstances doing the best they can to keep their household together.
This means they offer care and emotional support to someone they love; a parent, a grandparent, or a sibling. Sometimes from as young as five years old, Honeypot children will help give medication, carry out household chores and assist with personal care. Although still children, they take on a surrogate parental role at home, alongside homework and school, and as a result most will miss out on childhood experiences, seeing or making friends and have to care every day.
They do this with little complaint.
The Honeypot Children’s Charity gives young carers their chance at childhood, taking them on breaks to either one of our respite homes in the New Forest, Hampshire or Powys, mid-Wales, providing them with outreach support through Playbus visits, and giving them birthday cards and Christmas presents, sometimes the only ones they may receive. Many of our children have never even seen the sea or the countryside, or even learnt how to ride a bike or swim.
It’s tremendously important that we can offer young carers this kind of support. They go to a heroic effort to keep looking out for their family. Let’s make sure they can still have a childhood.
Our thanks go out to ITV and This Morning for showing Catherine and Nathan’s stories.