Carers First understands that every carer's story is different, but that many of the challenges remain the same.
We want to give an opportunity for carers to share their stories and let their voices be heard. We want to show the day-to-day realities of caring, the highs and the lows.
Adelaide says she became a carer three years ago after her daughter, Aada, 6, was diagnosed with autism. Adelaide was already caring for her husband, who had been diagnosed with leukaemia and has other health problems, but it was only a year after Aada had been diagnosed, in 2018, that she realised her role as a full-time carer for her family.
"I recommend Carers First to everyone, telling my story about the change they have made in my life. In the summer I have promised to meet up with other carers and cook for them. Life now feels more hopeful.”
Rose, 57, cares for her husband, Karl, who has terminal cancer. She also has a son who is autistic.Read More
“When a condition is first diagnosed and you realise something in going to happen in the future, find an organisation like Carers First and get the help to hand. Learn what you’ve got to do because by the time you get to use it, you need to know. That’s not the time to start finding out.”
Peter cares for his wife, Olive who has dementiaRead More
“It feels like life stopped with Vivien’s diagnosis. Every day is the same and I often feel depressed. We always used to have something to aim for and we don’t anymore.”
Dennis, 88, cares for his wife Vivian who has dementia. They have been married for 63 years after first meeting on a blind date on a motorcycle. Dennis describes how support from Carers First has helped.
Mary vividly recalls walking the streets with her 10-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter who has mental health needs, desperately trying to find somewhere to live and worrying about where they would sleep that night.
“I thought of killing myself,” Mary says. “The thought just kept coming to me.
But then Noreen from Carers First stepped in to help find me accommodation. I would not be here if it was not for her.”
Chris' Volunteer Story
Chris has volunteered with Carers First for over 11 years and has spoken to 5,000 carers.
When Chris retired from a Senior Executive role at the Land Registry, he knew he still had a lot to give. Naturally gregarious, he held to the maxim ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’.Read More
Ariel's Volunteer Story
“It has taken me a long time to accept my life is going to be a lot different than I planned it.”
Leane cares for her daughter, Isla who is autistic
Caring for someone with a physical disability
“Carers need help as well as the cared-for. It was the first time I’ve ever felt someone wanted to help my daughter and me. Without Helen’s guidance, I don’t know where I’d be. She helped me through some dark and impossible hours.”Read More
In April 2020, Marian and her husband made a decision which changed their daily lives when they brought her 92-year-old mum, who has Alzheimer's, to live with them.
Leah, 16, cares for her older brother and has become our youngest volunteer.
"I've had so much support and I want to help younger carers"Read More
Christine Roberts cares for her son, Ashley, 29, who suffers daily seizures.
“I felt quite alone. I didn’t have that support network around me.
“Carers First helped me to settle into my temporary accommodation and directed me to white goods which I was so grateful for. Then I moved into my own two-bedroom place, I love it, and they continue to help me.”
“It has been a grieving process. The son I knew was lost in his mental illness and I couldn’t reach him. I kept hoping one day to wake up like it never happened. I wanted my old Jamal back.”
Denise, 56, cares for her son Jamal with mental health challenges
“I found myself feeling resentful of my situation, like my life had stopped and wishing my mum would just die.”
“I was driving one day when the thought came into my mind that if I just drove into a wall, it would be all over. My caring role had taken over my life and I needed a way out. Fortunately, I reached out for help and Carers First gave me my life back.”
Crystal and Charlene's story (daughter and mum)
"When I wasn’t with Young Carers, I felt alone with no support." (Crystal)
"Our life is so more manageable knowing we have full support day in day out." (Charlene)
“As a mum, I felt that I could do it, that I was fine, but I wasn’t fully aware of how caring was impacting my wellbeing."
“As his carer, I don’t have a life. But it was my choice to take care of him, he’s my son.”
Harry, who turns 20 in July, has complex health needs. These include learning disabilities, autism and physical conditions, such as a chronic lung disease for which he requires oxygen. This means isolating is essential to protect him from the virus.
Shelley talks about how caring impacts her life on BBC Radio Kent: Click here to listen...Read More
Kristian’s dad left when he was a baby, unable to cope with his disability. He has seen him only a few times since...Read More
Marcus was educated at day schools for special needs when young but went part residential at 16 for 3 years. Followi...Read More