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Young carer Sami Richardson speaks at Dinner Of Dreams event
A YOUNG woman who started caring for her mother at the age of six has given a moving speech at a high-profile national event.
Sami Richardson, 22, from York, spoke at the Dinner Of Dreams event in aid of unpaid young carers aged 14 to 25, which was attended by Princess Anne and hosted by comedian and actor Rob Brydon.
As a child, Sami became a carer for her mum who was suffering from conditions including spinal problems, asthma, sleep apnoea and depression.
With the support of York Carers Centre, she has gone on to university and to start a campaign group for some of the issues young carers face.
Speaking at the Manchester event, Sami said: “Being a young adult carer has its challenges.
“One of them is the fact I never considered myself to be a carer. It’s only been in the last few months with the help of my support worker that I have realised that I am doing things above and beyond that of a daughter or sibling.
“It’s hard to deal with that knowledge. I try so hard, but I feel like I’m constantly juggling and sometimes feel I’m not doing enough.
“So I focus on the positives, I focus on every smile I get from my mum, every meal I cook knowing I developed those skills and I relish in knowing that I actually like the person I am.”
Sami said when she graduates she now hopes to work with young people.
Also at the event organised by The Co-operative – which has raised £4 million for the Carers Trust – was Bethany Monroe, who helps care for her younger brother who has autism. Bethany, 15, also works with York Carers Centre.
There are an estimated 500,000 unpaid young adult carers in the UK who take on practical and emotional caring responsibilities for a family member or friend who may be ill, frail, disabled or have mental health or addiction problems.
For more information about York Carers Centre, visit www.yorkcarerscentre.co.uk
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