My Dad drinks a lot of alcohol and sometimes gets very loud. This scares me because he doesn’t act like my Dad. Dad lost his job because of his problem so now stays at home all day. He doesn’t do much around the house so I help Mum with the cleaning, cooking and looking after my younger sister Amy. Amy is a good girl but sometimes she needs my help. When I’m at school I think about home and I forget what the teacher is saying. Sometimes I’m really tired as Dad can be really noisy at night and keep me awake. Morgan, aged 16.
My name’s Emma, I’m 17. I live with my sister and Mum. Mum has Rheumatoid Arthritis. I’ve been caring for her since Dad left four years ago. Mum doesn’t like to leave the house as she finds it difficult to do even the simplest tasks without getting tired. On bad days Mum can’t even make herself a cup of tea, so I do all the household tasks, which include cooking, cleaning, shopping for food and paying the bills. I love my Mum a lot and I want to help her as much as possible.
When I was sitting my mock GCSE’s my Dad had a stroke. He had a good job and was the main earner in our house. Dad doesn’t work anymore. He can’t be left on his own for very long periods of time as he is likely to leave the cooker or the fire on, or let the bath overflow. He has difficulty understanding what is going on around him. He is very demanding so me and my Mum share the caring role. It gets in the way of my school work and I’m always tired or irritable during the day. Alice, aged 16.