Video reveals life as a young carer

Young carer Lydia Hartnell

Young carer Lydia Hartnell - Credit: Archant

Axminster teenager featured in Youtube film

Lydia caring for her young brother

Lydia caring for her young brother - Credit: Archant

A 16-year-old Axminster girl, who looks after her eight-year-old brother, wants others to recognise the vital work that young carers do.

Lydia Hartnell and a group of other young carers have teamed-up with Fixers, the charity that gives young people a voice, to create a film to offer insight into what it entails.

Featuring Lydia, it depicts two young people disappearing into the backdrop of everyday life, symbolising how carers often feel ignored.

Lydia said: “As a young carer, I feel that we are often made to feel invisible. People just don’t understand what we do.

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“My younger brother has cystic fibrosis - a genetic disorder that affects his lungs and digestive system. I’ve been caring for him since he was born. I have to deal with medical professionals and when I’m there they ignore me and go straight to Mum or Dad.

“I know other young carers in my area share the same frustration with health care professionals, schools and friendship groups.”

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Lydia has shown her film to Maureen Muckersie, commissioning officer for Devon County Council, and she plans to use the film as a training resource. “I thought it was really powerful,” she said. “I don’t think people are aware of the responsibilities young carers take on.”

Lydia added: “We hope our project will lead to a greater understanding of what young carers do. It would be great it if could make us more visible in society.”

Watch the film at

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