Award-winning volunteer and former young carer Thupayal shares his story

Thupayal became a young carer for his mother after an accident damaged a disc in her spine. Despite juggling school and caring duties, he excelled in education and now works for the prestigious Bank of America, Honeypot’s charity partner – and now he’s won an award for the work he’s done to raise awareness of young carers. Here’s his volunteering story for International Volunteer Day!

 

Thupayal with Bumble

 

I’m a typical 29-year-old from East London who likes the usual things in life: football, the gym, a memorable family holiday – and I’m also an ambassador for Honeypot. I have been a carer for my mother since I was 15, as well as looking after my younger brother at the same time.

As a young carer, I would help my mother through the night when she wanted to get up and go to the toilet, and help her get dressed and fed in the morning. I would have her medicine all ready before dosette boxes were standard. I also fought all the battles with the local authorities to get care for my mother, completed all the forms and assessments required and acted as her representation in all appeals. On top of all this I always made sure my brother was dressed and ready for school.

You have to live through the eyes of a young carer to see what it’s actually like. They can never prioritise their day for themselves; everything revolves around their loved one. There were so many times I wanted to just go out with friends and be part of the social crowd but couldn’t. I was always behind on the hot topics at school because I wasn’t around to chat with friends.

I always wanted to work in the financial services industry and now that dream has become a reality. Since 2018 I’ve worked for the Bank of America as a compliance and operational risk officer. I’m still in awe of the size of the bank; I love the challenging environment and working with some of the most intelligent people in the industry.

As a Honeypot Ambassador, I raise awareness of the charity within the bank as well as in society as a whole. I’ve been interviewed by the BBC and iNews about my life. I share my personal experiences and demonstrate what challenges I faced in getting to where I am now – challenges that I know many other kids will go through.

I have recently received a Global Volunteer Award for my work, which is the company’s most distinguished award for volunteerism. I was humbled to win this as it is a big deal in the bank. I’ll be flown out to the Bank of America HQ in North Carolina this week to collect my award from the CEO. I wanted to take my mother and the bank were very supportive of this but it will probably be too cold for her and she might be bored!

We need to do more to help give more kids the opportunity to get respite breaks. Children are the future of the nation and giving them a break from caring, even though it is temporary, will give them a world full of confidence to push through life challenges and meet their own aspirations.

You can read more about Thupayal’s journey on the BBC here. If you’d like to help volunteer or fundraise for Honeypot, click here for more information.

 


Honeypot is the national charity for young carers aged five to twelve. We do not receive government funding and rely on your donations to keep running respite breaks. Please consider supporting us by making a donation, attending an event, or making us your organisation’s charity partner.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Award-winning volunteer and former young carer Thupayal shares his story”

  1. Kate says:

    Hi, it’s so good to hear about your amazing work supporting young carers. I wonder if you know of any organisations that help older young carers, say aged 17. I know of one young chap who cares for his younger sister who has global developmental delay and presents quite a lot of challenges for her family, especially for her older brother. He is still at school doing A levels and has to care for his sister when she needs anything physical done like toileting, and she can be abusive towards him which is incredibly wearing. He is very fond of Magic the card game and loves Grand Prix. Any advice would be good.

    1. Thanks for your message Kate! We’ll email you.

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