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Indie-Iris’ story

Indie-Iris cares for her mum who has a physical disability, as her dad is serving in the Royal Navy and is currently deployed.

Indie-Iris was referred to our Young Carers project in April 2020, when the country was on lockdown and our activities were delivered virtually. Her mum, Camille said:

“Indie-Iris started back at school after her dad went on deployment and she struggled quite a bit and started having anxiety attacks. Obviously, this was a very anxious time for us all with my added health concerns. Kids has been instrumental in providing a stable and confidential avenue for Indie-Iris to be able to talk about her feelings.”

In March, the family found out that Indie did not get her choice of secondary school. This was a stressful time as getting her to the school she was allocated would have been challenging due to her mum’s health, and even more so when her dad is deployed. Also, all her friends and support network were going to a different school. The family were upset and stressed; they simply did not know what to do.

The carers project was able to support the appeal of the secondary school decision, by providing supporting letters explaining the impact that not getting into her chosen school would mean not only from being a serving forces family but also the risks associated with young carers falling behind in education due to their caring responsibilities, and the impact of being removed from her support network. All the evidence provided for the appeal helped to secure Indie’s place at her chosen secondary school.

Indie fully engages with Kids support sessions and leisure activities, voicing her opinions on preferred trips. We are able to provide opportunities that would be difficult for the family to provide. For example, at Easter Indie went to the theme park at Chessington for the first time. Day trips like this are difficult for the family, due to the exhaustion the day would cause for mum.

“Indie-Iris has mentioned that one of the biggest things is having someone to talk to and the fact that when she is not at home it helps her to not think of her dad being away from home. She has returned from meetings in a much better place than she was and being able to meet with other children who are in the same position as she is, has allowed her to process things much better than previously. This has also allowed me to be at ease knowing that she has this space that is ‘hers’. Thank you so very much.”

Indie has a good relationship with staff, which ensures we are aware of her emotional state to support her fully. We provide one-to-one support when Indie is struggling when dad is deployed; especially when this falls in the holidays and this impacts her access to leisure activities. Indie-Iris said:

“Young carers help me by taking my mind off my dad, like when we go out or just by having someone to talk to. It actually really helps me quite a lot even when he is here. When we went to the young carers festival it helped so much because I wasn’t in the house, I was just out, it helps because I made new friends who feel and know what I am going through.”

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We’re on the side of two million children and young people with disabilities and special educational needs and their families. With your help we can create life-changing opportunities for families like Indie-Iris and her mum.