Hi, I’m Alicia,
I have cared for my Mum, who suffers with her mental health, since I was eight years old. I was an unidentified carer until the age of 14, which is why I feel inspired to speak out to ensure other hidden young carers get the support that they require. I like to think that I am a voice for the voiceless as so many young people have caring responsibilities, but are afraid to speak up, which is why I represent them as a national advocate for young carers and young adults. I help to advise the Government on policies and practices regarding young carers.
Before the Coronavirus pandemic, I would go to Portcullis House for my role as an advocate, alongside three other young carer representatives from all walks of life with varying carer roles. My most memorable moment was the first time I spoke to the ministerial group about how places should be more accessible for those with disabilities or mental health conditions to prevent stress for carers.
During the pandemic, everything was made virtual and when lockdowns were in place, I was unable to access respite care for my Mum. However, the young carer advocacy role stepped up another level, which saw me taking calls every day regarding Covid policies and educational policies for young carers and schools. What kept me motivated was the ‘knowing’; knowing that in the end, I will change someone’s life, whether it be one person or 200 people. I have received messages from other young carers thanking me for what I have done, but if you don’t keep on going, then who will!
I want to ensure that young carers are listened to, so I am honoured to have been recognised for what I have achieved. I am very much looking forward to celebrating at The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant with all the other deserving nominees. The Queen inspires me because everything she has endured, she has overcome with a smile on her face. To the Queen, age is but a number, and she is always ready to try something new, showing her relenting determination and willpower.
“Since Alicia was 14, she has positioned herself as the voice for thousands of Young Carers across the UK to ensure they are listened to. Despite her caring responsibilities, she has achieved so much and does not let anything or anyone stand in her way and because of this she deserves to be recognised and celebrated. ” – extract from the key worker nomination for Alicia
Alicia in her young carer advocacy role
The process of creating Alicia’s Key Worker Scroll:
Alicia’s key worker scroll. Photo: Kristian Buus