Lismore student wants to raise awareness about young full-time carers
IN BETWEEN her HSC studies, teen carer Emily Briggs has been raising awareness of the forgotten young members of the community who care for loved ones full-time.
Emily, 17, of Lismore, joined Young Carers a few years ago to gain support and develop skills to help her care for her younger brother with autism.
Young Carers, part of Carers Australia, has a focus on youth under 25 years old caring for someone with an illness, a disability, a mental health issue or a drug or alcohol problem.
“They offer support and the weekends away with them are a great chance to not only build on leadership skills but to have a break from our carer work because it can be full-on,” Emily said.
In 2014 she took her involvement to the next level and completed leadership training.
“I wanted to learn how to be a carer leader in the community,” she said.
“I was going to start a sibling support group ... there’s a lack of support for carers and siblings of autistic kids in this area.
“It was to just get together and talk about what we face and how we can support each other ... unfortunately I had to put that on hold because of my HSC work.”
Emily has also been involved in a Young Carers NSW committee formed to script, direct and produce a short promotional film.
Carers NSW CEO Elena Katrakis said the young carer leaders wanted to create a tool youth could relate to.
“They came together to talk about how they could get the message out there more broadly,” she said.
“The film is highlighting some of the issues young carers face.
“Young people won’t necessarily see themselves as carers, they see themselves as helping out their mum or dad.”
The short film can be viewed online.
Emily has started her preparation for year 12 next year and is excited to take on a leadership role at her school, Lismore High.