Kirsty, a young Carer from Dumfries and Galloway shares her employability journey
As a young carer what were the main challenges that you experienced in accessing employability/ learning opportunities?
I experienced a lot of difficulties after being out of work for five years due to being my Father’s main Carer. I have done many different voluntary work over the years, but these didn’t seem to help me find a job until quite recently. Over the past five years, I had been actively seeking work, but with no luck, until recently. I was offered a position as a Carer at a local care home, which I am over the moon about.
Who and what support helped you progress to achieve what you wanted?
I had amazing support from the Carers Centre. I knew that if I ever needed anything or anyone to speak to, I could reach out to them. One of the biggest help over the past couple of years, has been the support of Tommy and Elaine from Realize Your Potential.
I was invited along to take part in one of their QUEST’s and I absolutely loved it! At the time, I was feeling quite low and isolated. My confidence had taken a huge dip and I had quite low self-esteem. Taking part in the QUEST really brought me out of my comfort zone and helped me regain my confidence. I met some amazing people who have become really good friends. The QUEST, has really helped me over the years by getting me out of the house, away from my caring role for a few hours and just having some great fun with great people. I have truly learned a lot from both Tommy and Elaine. They have done a fantastic job with the company, and I am so proud to have been a part of it.
What did you learn about yourself during this process?
I learned that it is extremely important to take care of myself, as well as others. It is important to take a step back and do something for myself now and again.
If anything, what is still challenging for you to be successful in your studies/ volunteering/employment and how do you manage that?
I think I am managing things a lot better now. My family and I have a much better routine in place for taking care of my Dad. Just so the responsibility is shared more equally and so not everything is falling on to me. I am able to go out and volunteer, play and compete all over the country with a pipe band and I have more time for socialising.
What aspirations do you have for the future?
I am due to start my new job in the next few weeks. They will be putting me through my SVQ, so I am really excited about that.
This is the kind of work I have been looking for and I can’t wait to get started.