Making Life Better for Naval Family Carers

Making Life Better for Naval Family Carers

Many young people from all walks of life provide care support to family members, but with one parent away at sea the responsibility can fall heavily on the children in Royal Navy households. Seventeen year old Anna* is an example of the difference that the transformation difference the RNRMC can make to the life of carers in Naval families, thanks to its partnership with the charity KIDS and funding of the pioneering Young Carers project.

Anna first joined KIDS five years ago when her family moved to the Portsmouth area after her mum married her partner, who was in the Royal Navy. Anna has a younger autistic sister whose needs demand a great deal of time and attention. In the past, Anna had feelings of resentment towards her sister and parents. With extremely low self-esteem she missed many days of school and blamed her Step-Dad for the family having to move to an unfamiliar location. Anna was often relied upon to take part in caring responsibilities for her sister and increasingly felt she had no identity of her own.

As the specially trained staff at KIDS built a relationship of trust with Anna, she began to confide in them, saying that she felt the only people who seemed to understand and not judge her were those linked with the project. Anna received one- to-one support during a time when she was struggling to understand the point of her taking GCSE exams. As a result of this support, her attendance levels at school increased and she gained much higher grades than predicted. She identified areas of her life she wanted to change and I was supported to achieve them by KIDS and other agencies including Cool 2 b Healthy.

Anna grew in self-confidence, went to college, gained better grades than she expected and excelled particularly in her coursework. She also started a part time job and passed her driving test. Anna is still involved with the Young Carers project and has even become a volunteer working with the younger age carers.

Thanks to the support of the RNRMC, Anna now describes herself as a very confident happy young lady who believes that there’s nothing she can’t put her hand to.

*Names have been changed

With support for all carers more important than ever before, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has partnered with Carers UK to develop on online portal of digital resources specially tailored to support carers within Royal Navy families. The platform will launch in Autumn 2020 and contains up to date information and advice on health and wellbeing, support for carers, technology and caring, financial planning, working and skills and family relationships. The portal will also include a simple online tool, helping new carers to access the maze of benefits and entitlements. Launch date and further details will be released on the RNRMC website

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