Interview with Young Carer Support Activist: Jenny Louise
Jenny Louise is a young carer activist and shows her support through YouTube videos that uplift Young Carers. She also has a Tumblr page and Twitter which is filled with encouragement and information that may apply to you. Additionally you can check her videos at Carers Trust as a video blogger for Young Adult Carer Blog. Check out my interview with Jenny below:
Were you a young carer? If so, how did you cope and become such an optimistic person?
Yes, I’ve cared for my mum who has suffered from a mental illness since before I can remember. Aw thanks, I definitely haven’t always coped, or at least some of my methods of coping weren’t great and something I don’t want to promote, but one of the main positive things that kept me going was school work. Sounds crazy but it was the only thing that would remain constant in my life. Coming home from school, I had no idea how my mum would be, but school work was always something where I felt I knew where I stood with. I also found that I could be good at it, so naturally when I was feeling glum I’d press on with that. If you’re a young carer, definitely find that something you love too, to kind of switch off from things sometimes. I also had good friends in later years that were good support to me, even if they didn’t know it!
I’m optimistic because I know that there are good things that can come out from being a carer. I’m 18 now, and I know I’m stronger for it.
Why did you decide to make videos for young carers?
Growing up I had no idea I was a carer, I had no idea that other people were in the same situation as me, or that were ‘young carer’ groups and things were even about. Absolutely no idea. And I was one! So I guess the first reason is awareness.
The main reason is; I’m eighteen now, I’ve been caring for more than 15 years, for the first time in my life I’m living away from home (most of the time), I feel I’ve gained a bit of perspective and I want to help others, now that I can. Because I know there are so many questions I wish I had answers for when I was younger. So many things I wish I had known or understood a bit better or just had some advice about both physically and mentally about caring when I was growing up. I know that knowing those things would have helped me, so I try to cover those in my videos, so that maybe it will help someone else. I really do hope it helps or at least reassures people that they are doing the right thing in the same situations. Honestly, if it helps one person then it’s a success to me. In terms of why i do the videos, it makes it a bit more personal.
What is your best advice/ motto to give to a young carer?
Don’t lose sight of yourself. It’s so easy to just become just a ‘part’ of the person you care for, because you don’t get out much, you’re constantly with them and/or worrying about them when you’re not. Remember the things that you love to do, and things you enjoy. Follow your dreams and aspirations, you have your own life to live!!
Tell me some fun facts about yourself, who are your favourite artists and what type of music do you listen to?
I don’t think I could tell you. I like such a range, I have everything from metal/ rock to pop music on my ipod and I just switch between, depending on how I’m feeling.
What’s your favourite colour?
Favourite TV show/ movie?
TV shows.. I am a massive fan of Waterloo Road, I have like 5 series boxsets! Haha, oh the shame. Love love love Doctor Who, Whose Line is it Anyway and New Girl is awesome. Movies.. Star Wars, (not the prequels), Mean Girls haha uhh wow I can’t think of any others. I don’t watch too many movies really.
What would you do to raise money for charity?
Check out a couple of her videos below: