Josh discusses the responsibilities of being a sibling young carer
“I’m Josh and I’m 9-years-old. I have two younger brothers, Mum, Dad, a grumpy tortoise, a rabbit and a cat. Everyone is very kind.
I am the only one who can make Harry do things, like when he refuses to move. I care for him and love him loads. We are really close brothers. I’ve always helped out with his care, I help get him changed, encourage him, play with him and include him in everything. I chase after him when he’s running off and feed him as sometimes he refuses to feed himself. I even communicate for him. We also play lots together, from TV to Xbox, role play and switch.
Often when we are out, I run around after Harry and miss out on playtime with my friends. When Harry runs off he can hide and I’m faster than mummy at finding him.
I miss out on doing some stuff with my friends because we have to play games that Harry can join in on. This means we can’t do things like climbing trees or playing out in front of the house with the neighbours as the doors always have to be locked so Harry can’t vanish.
Half the time I feel like people don’t understand what it’s like to look after my brother. They don’t understand that you can’t just run away from Harry as it puts him in danger.
If I was in charge, I would get schools and other people to be more understanding of how hard it can be to be a young carer. Sometimes I haven’t done my homework because I’m tired after helping Harry. Sometimes Harry can shout lots because he gets frustrated. This means we can’t do other things.
When I’m older I would still want to help Harry in any way that I could, but I also want to be a vet and care for animals.”