From Shy Struggling Student to Successful Scholar
Ibrahim recently wrote to our Young Adult Carers Project Manager Alan recently to talk about the impact that accessing YMCA Sutton Coldfield services has had on him. His story demonstrates the impact of being a young Carer and how the right support can make such a life-changing difference.
I am writing just to give my thanks and opinion on the support you have given me. I came to you as an individual who was very insecure about my status as a young carer and I was in a very awkward place as I would say I wasn’t very confident and I had trouble being content with myself. Now I would describe myself as someone who is very expressive and forward with his role as a (now) Young Adult Carer who is able to express himself and I believe that I have gained an immense amount of confidence due to the support provided by yourself and the YMCA.
I want to begin by talking about the amazing 1-1 meeting which kicked the whole thing off. When I first had a meeting I was very timid and wasn’t able to talk confidently about my challenges as a young carer and I feel like the 1-1 meetings are more than just a support thing as they provided a place for advice, venting, reassurance etc and I feel like the 1-1 support has given me more than you would expect.
I can now happily and confidently call you and arrange a meeting and meet and be able to confidently let out any concerns or anything I’ve been bottling up which has helped drastically improve my mental health as I was able to get reassurance in some of the challenges I’ve faced as a young carer. I also believe that due to your background as a young carer helped me feel more confident and comfortable as I didn’t feel alienated.
Back when Covid first came into the world and we went into that first lockdown I was in a bad place mentally and educationally. Educationally I was really struggling as I wasn’t meeting deadlines and I wasn’t motivated and this lead to a decline in my mental wellbeing. I spoke to you regarding these issues and we devised a plan to help me become more motivated and organised and this resulted in me getting back on track and completing college with the grades I needed for university.
While we talked about the issues regarding my mental health you suggested things like exercise, walks etc and those suggestions also played a huge part in me turning things around for the better and I am still grateful for all the support and advice you have given me over the years.
The trips have also played a huge part as they have allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and socialise with other Young Carers and this gave me a sense of belonging that I personally wasn’t able to feel in school or college and therefore it has helped me to develop as a person who is very confident in his people skills. They have also helped me by allowing / enabling me to experience things I may never have had the chance to experience due to financial / circumstantial reasons; for example the quad biking, this is something I’ve always dreamed of doing and due to yourself and the YMCA I was able to make lifelong memories and experience something truly amazing.
One of the most daunting things to happen to me recently was the start of university as going from my sixth form* which I’d been at for 5 years to a new place where I’d have to make new friends and be more independent. I spoke to you about this and you helped me see it in a different light, a more positive light in the sense that the independence would really help me to create a better balance in my life and that meeting new people isn’t as bad as it may seem and we were able to make the idea of university from something daunting into something which I was really looking forward to.
Honestly Alan, I could write on and on about the support you have given me but honestly if we look back at me from when I first was referred and to me now I’d say the proof is in the pudding in the sense that I have come a long way from that timid and afraid boy who wasn’t clear of his status as a young carer and for that the least I can say is Thank You.
Please share Ibrahim’s story with other young adult carers so that support can be put in place and dreams can come true. Find out more about YMCA Sutton Coldfield’s support here.
*Ibrahim went to Aston University Sixth Form Engineering Academy.