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Last Updated: Friday November 10 2006 13:03 GMT

Are you a young carer?

A kid in a wheelchair

Many children who look after a sick or disabled family member aren't getting the help they need, according to research.

There are at least 175,000 young carers in the UK.

It's feared that many children don't like to talk about what's going on at home, and so miss out on getting the support they need.

Do you help care for someone at home? If so, what do you do?

Do your friends know that you help someone?

Perhaps you go to a support group for young carers?

Or maybe you know a young carer or have ideas on what should be done to help them?

E-mail us your stories now.

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your Comments

I care for my little brother who has Cystic Fibrosis. I go to Suffolk young carers and it has really helped me.
Harriet, 11, Haughley

I look after my brother who has severe autism, I used to go to this group called Young Carers but I got bored of it because I didn't really relate to anybody there.
Rhiannon, 12, Hunts

My mum works with young carers and she tells me how life can be hard for them.
Olivia, 10, Glasgow

I'm a young carer as me and my mum look after my granddad who can not walk anymore.
Leanne, 13, Nottinghamshire

I have been a carer since I was seven. My mum has MS and I look after her when I'm not at school. I go to a club called the young carers and we go out every three months and have some fun. It can be very stressful and can get to you sometimes and it's very difficult to explain to your friends as they don't have to cope with what all young carers have to do.
Daniel, 13, Uckfield

My dad is disabled and uses a wheelchair. I help him a lot but I don't miss out. Barnardos help us a lot and my mum does respite care for kids with disabilities - this has help me understand a lot more and so now I want to work with disabled people when I'm older.
Laura, 13, Harrogate

My mum uses a wheelchair and she depends on me and my brother and dad so we don't always get to go out all the time.
Poppy, 12, Aldershot

My mum has had MS since I was born but life is normal to me as it's all I have ever known. Me and dad do a lot to help her but we have a lot of support from social services and friends as well.
Jacob, 12, Beaminster

My brother needs help with talking and walking. I help take care of him and play with him. I also help mum. It's quite hard sometimes because you don't get to do what you want.
Amy, 7, London

My nan has heart problems and I have to remind her to take her tablets.
Sophia, 10, Bristol

My granddad has had Alzheimer's disease since I was young. He needs a lot of care and although I don't care for him full time it's hard work and I think that young carers are amazing being able to cope with all the stress.
Elaine, 12, Ireland

I'm a young carer. I look after my brother who has severe autism and my mum who suffers from depression. People wonder why I never go out, but they don't realise the stress that looking after people puts you under. My friends don't understand because they've got 'normal families'.
Megan, 13, Kilbride

My family and me have to look after my younger sister, I have to help her with some things that she can't manage to do and help her communicate with other people because she is deaf. but I am glad she is my sister.
Mollie, 12, Surrey

I'm a young carer because me and my mum look after my granddad who can not walk anymore.
Leanne, 13, Nottinghamshire

I've been a young carer since I was nine. I look after my mum because she's a manic depressive but I don't mind.
Cathie, 13

My mum is dyslexic and so me and my brother help her read and spell. We go to a young carers group and it really helps us as we can talk about our family. Dyslexia means it takes longer for my mum to learn and so it gets really frustrating for her.
Mairead, 9, London

My mate looks after her mum, her brothers and sister after her step dad left. She has been doing most of the house work and shopping. She has been a great help for her mum and I just think she should be thanked for all she has done.
JoJo, 14, Leamington

I have been a carer since the age of five. I help my dad who has cancer. I go to a club called Suffolk Young Carers, and every month we meet up and go out. I find it hard being a carer because it's hard to explain to my friends. sometimes you can get bullied for it but I have been lucky!
Jasmin, 13, St Edmunds

My mum went into hospital six weeks ago and I had quite a hard time as she couldn't walk much and is only just getting back to normal. I now know what young carers go through.
Martin, 13, Bushey

My mum is disabled and I always have to help her. It gets very stressful but I go to a group called Young Cares, and once a week I get to go away and have some fun. I still love my mum!
Lauren, 14, Oldham

I'm a young carer but I don't like to talk to people about it as it upsets me. Everyday I wish my mum will get better but I know it won't happen. I hope all the other young carers are happy.
Imy, 12, Norfolk

I help my mum who is disabled. My dad is her full time carer, so we all spend a lot of time together.
Kyle, 7, Bournemouth

I m a carer for my mum who suffers from multiple sclerosis which affects her nerves. I get picked on by my mates because I have to stay in to care for her instead of going out with them.
Olivia, 11, London

I'm not a young carer but my mum recently broke her leg and I'm helping her around the house.
Amy, 14, Glasgow

My nana has Alzheimer's, and my brother has severe learning difficulties. Neither of them can dress themselves or look after themselves. Me and my mum help them out.
Olivia, 11, London

I do all the gardening and housework for my granny and grandad. I like doing it though!
Kate, 14, Nottingham

I always help my gran. She's very lonely because my grandad died when I was born. No one visits her apart from me and I sometimes worry about her.
Claire, 11, Belfast

I look after my disabled dad with my mum. Sometimes, my mum can't cope if my brother and sister are being annoying, so I try to help. People aren't giving us enough help and I think it's not fair.
Madison, 12, Dyffryn

My brother was very disabled and couldn't do anything. I had to help him with my mum and dad because he needed someone 24/7. Sadly he died in May.
A, 13, Milton Keynes

My mum is disabled and I help her with stuff around the house, like getting things out of cupboards and making food.
Beth, 11, Surrey



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