This year’s pandemic has altered many plans for 2020. As pupils in Swindon head back to school, we’d like to share Bryn’s summer holiday photos – to give you a snapshot of what it’s been like caring during the Covid-19 lockdown as a young carer.
Bryn, who is 15, looks after his mum Lisa, who has arthritis in both knees. Eight years ago, Lisa had an operation, which caused problems with her knees. At this time, Bryn took on a bigger role supporting her with shopping and household tasks.
Depending on Lisa’s health and mobility day-to-day, Bryn helps with the washing, hoovering, or shopping. He’s there to support with simple things, like fetching her crutches if she needs them. Recently, we spoke to Bryn, to ask him what being a young carer means.
Bryn told us that a young carer is “someone who has a parent who may not be as physically capable. They might not be able to do normal life activities, or just simple things like running a hoover round the house, so maybe you have to help them out a little more.”
During lockdown Bryn’s grandad, and his nan who is disabled, came to stay with the family. As Bryn explained “my nan was at home, so I was helping her with things as well, but my grandad could help with both my mum and my nan.”
Over the past few months Bryn has been staying at home due to his grandparent’s age, as they are more vulnerable if they were to be exposed to Covid-19. However, he enjoyed having them at home. To keep busy, he worked on a number of projects with his grandfather. We thought the photos of these were fantastic and wanted to find out more!
Tasks included fixing a leaking shed roof and building a trailer so that he could tow his dog Kiki – who also has arthritis – along while going for a walk. He said “I’ve always enjoyed building things from a young age. Having to stay in with your family can be a positive thing as you build a stronger bond.”
Bryn’s mum Lisa also spoke about his role caring during the Covid-19 lockdown. She told us that she’s incredibly proud of him. She said: “my mum is disabled, so he’s grown up with disabled people around him. Even when he was a toddler, he was running around helping her or stealing her crutches!
“I don’t think he realises how much he does, he never asks questions – he just does it. I come home and the dishwasher has been emptied, or he’ll go to the cupboard, see what’s missing and pop out to the shops. He’s so thoughtful.
“He cares a lot. Often, he doesn’t like to leave me on my known as he’s worried I’ll fall over. I know he’s there if I need him. I’m so proud of him, more than I could say – I really am.”
Read more of our carer stories on our news page.