Ryan was referred to Warwickshire Young Carers Project nearly two years ago by his local junior school in Rugby because he looked after his mum who had Multiple Sclerosis.
Only nine-years-old, Ryan was having attendance problems at school. The school was concerned that he was often getting himself to school and walking home alone, and his teacher was concerned about his lack of concentration and that he had withdrawn into himself.
Ryan’s mum, aged 34, was a single parent with Multiple Sclerosis and Type 2 Diabetes, relying on a manual wheelchair.
Ryan is heavily involved in looking after his mum and is responsible for cooking ready meals, cleaning, doing laundry, helping mum with the shopping and doing the garden. His grandmother lives close by and was helping out, but suffered a stroke and so Ryan also helps her out from time to time.
Warwickshire Young Carers Project has helped the family to overcome some of their difficulties, and Ryan no longer has problems with his attendance at school.
However, from time to time Ryan does need a break from his caring responsibilities, but as the family has very limited income his mum finds it difficult to take him out.
Ryan had never heard of KidsOut or the Rotary National Day Out until he went to Drayton Manor in 2015. When asked, Ryan said “I’d never been to a theme park before because my mum couldn’t take me. I’d heard from friends at school how good it was and so I was really looking forward to going. School let me have a day off as they know I am a young carer. I enjoyed all the rides and made friends with more of the young carers. I really liked the Haunted House and the Goldmine as I learned to shoot at targets. It was cool!
“Thank you to KidsOut and the Rotarians for letting me go. It was good to go back to school and tell my friends all about it.”
Ryan’s Mum is also grateful for the opportunity: “I do feel guilty that I can’t do the things with Ryan that other families are able to do. This way he’s not missing out”.
*Note: Names and pictures are changed to protect identities.