When I was younger my mam was unfortunately battling with her addiction. She was addicted to alcohol and was struggling to take care of my siblings and me. Once my older siblings moved out, I was left to look after my mam and my younger sister. This began being extremely difficult and my mental health was suffering.  My mam had a few accidents and after her worst one we knew we needed to do something about it.  

I felt very lost. I was constantly worried about coming home from school in case I found my mam dead from an overdose or another accident. I was stressed as I thought I wasn’t doing a good enough job of taking care of my mam and younger sister.  

When Children’s Services became involved, I was given the opportunity to have support from PROPS. I was a bit nervous and apprehensive at first, I didn’t really want to speak. I kind of just wanted to do what I knew best and battle it alone. But after a few sessions, I began feeling more relaxed and realised I needed all the help I could get. PROPS massively impacted my life. I became a Young Carers Champion, I went away on residentials with them, I felt like I could be a kid again instead of a carer. PROPS helped me gain skills about how to handle my mam and how to go into situations differently and I will be forever grateful for that. 

Without PROPS I wouldn’t be here. They supported me and helped me through the toughest times of my life. I now have a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Teesside. I am working as a Senior Support Worker for LCS which is a company who support young people who have just come out of care or have been involved with criminal activity. My job role is to support them, help them gain skills and to show them that your past doesn’t have to be the pathway for your future. 

Without PROPS I wouldn’t be here to have my own family and an amazing job which I love. I owe my life to them and I’m blessed to have had them in my life. Thank you. 

If I can do it, anyone can.