Young Carers Action Day: Sophie’s Story

Sophie is a Young Adult Carer. She is now 21 and in her final year of her undergraduate degree.

Sophie was referred into the Young Carers Service in 2017 when she was nearly 17 and just starting her second year of A-level study.  Sophie cared for her dad who had a physical condition and Sophie helped with much of that physical care alongside her mum. When the Young Carers Practitioner first contacted Sophie, her dad had just passed away. Sophie still wanted to talk and have a visit. The support worker visited Sophie at home and it became apparent that she also supported her mum with her mental health. One of the things that Sophie is keen to make clear is how different it was to support her dad with a physical illness compared to supporting her mum with her mental health.  It has been crucial for Sophie to talk about these things and get the right support needed.

The support worker, alongside school, supported Sophie through some difficult times and Sophie completed her A-levels successfully and secured a place at university. Sophie was given support with paperwork for university and with other paperwork for the family. Other referrals were made following discussions with Sophie and her mum. Sophie commented about what a great support that was to both her and her mum at the time. Alongside this practical support Sophie also accessed emotional support when needed.

Before leaving for university, Sophie knew of all the support available to her at her chosen university, and of the local carers support service available to her in the new city she would be living in. Sophie had a meeting with the university in her first year about her role as a carer. At this time, Sophie said that her mum also felt supported and ready to take steps towards some goals.

Throughout her degree, Sophie has known that she can access support through Derbyshire Carers Young Adult Carer Service. She has had two Carer’s Assessments and has found this a supportive process. She has also had support to access equipment and books. Sophie commented that knowing we are there to support has really helped her throughout her studies.

Sophie is a fantastic ambassador for the Young Adult Carer Service. She has shared her experience on local radio during Carers Week last year and commented that the support she has had from Derbyshire Carers Association has been invaluable. She knows she can get in touch when she needs to and there will be both practical and emotional support available for her.

Sophie has worked hard during her degree course, balancing this with supporting her mum. Sophie needs to be available to travel home to support her mum and also to support her mum by telephone. Sophie says that balancing these things has been made more manageable knowing that she has the right support for herself. Sophie is nearing the end of her degree and is set to start a PGCE in September this year. 

Ahead of Young Carers Action Day, Sophie stated:

“No matter what age you are, being a carer is difficult. However, know there is support out there for everyone. I am beyond thankful for the support I have received over the years. I truly believe that thanks to the help and support of Derbyshire Carers Association, I am where I am today.”


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