Raising funds for young carers

My Time for writing

 

My Time for writing is a space to share my story and raise awareness of the challenges faced by young carers.  The page will grow organically as I prepare for and progress along the path. It also features all blog posts.

Young carers face many challenges and responsibilities which, as well as having positive impacts, can have a detrimental effect on their education, health, social interactions and psychological well-being.

They often go unnoticed, sometimes not knowing themselves that they are young carers. Raising awareness can help communities, schools, healthcare professionals and others to identify young carers, understand what they do, respond to their needs as well as being sensitive to their wishes.

Every young carer has a different story to tell.  Sharing those stories helps to connect with others and feel supported.  It can also help to articulate and understand feelings of guilt and frustration.

Young carers can carry burdens long into adulthood.  Help them lighten the load by reading these pages, sharing, raising awareness and donating to MyTime.

Hiking and writing for young carers…How did it all start?

 

My earliest memory of a long walk is one I did with my mum when I was about 8 years old along the cliffs in Cornwall, ending at the Marconi monument.  

We watched a helicopter rescue training operation from the path. I was so excited about it all that I drew a picture of the scene and gave it to her as a mother’s day present. The divers’ fins were bigger than the helicopter and my mum was wearing her 80’s pink tracksuit.  

I didn’t know at the time that it would be our last long walk together. She was so ill on our last trip to Cornwall that I don’t think she even saw the ocean.  Caring for her during those years changed my life in many ways… Only now, in my mid-thirties, can I start to let go and help other young carers.

The drawing of my mum and I watching the helicopter stayed up on the wall in her study until the day she passed away. I returned to Marconi and nearby coves over the years to lay flowers and post poems in the sea.

After my mother died, I continued to walk… for a while…then I stopped. Having time and space became too painful.

 

A few years ago, my partner and I returned to Cornwall, so I could once more take some flowers to her.  We walked from Botallack to Lands Ends and on our return to the village, we tumbled into the pub, our faces beaming like lighthouses.

Walking turned into hiking…

My next trip was the Isle of Skye which I would entitle “trial and error”, not least because I ended up in the post office in Broadford, sending 15 kgs worth of unnecessary items back home.  But I was still only doing day hikes and staying in cosy youth hostels.

My more recent hikes in Dorset have generally lasted 4 to 5 days with a mixture of hostels and campsites… Each time, I was ill prepared for carrying the weight of my backpack and came back broken, my partner having to carry me up the stairs.

For years I have dreamt of hiking the South West Coast Path.  I knew I needed to do it but I didn’t know why and something was holding me back.

Six months ago, I decided to start training with the vague idea that I may be hiking the path in 2016. As training and preparations got under-way, I started to realise that the path was going to give me time and space to let go. But I didn’t want all this energy to be released in a void… I wanted to give to young carers who, like me, need time and space.

Now, the dream is 10 weeks away and I have injured both calf muscles by over-doing my training… Ooops… lets hope I get off those crutches soon, not the best piece of kit for a hiker 🙂

Day 15: Newquay to St Agnes

June 26, 2016.Uncategorized

Newquay to St Agnes: 16 miles I left home again on Thursday 23 June, after coming back to see my family. The day before I leave, our beautiful little rabbit, Sooty, gets very sick. We take him to the vets, he has fly strike. They put him on oxigen, give him an anaesthetic and do […]

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Picture Diary: Hartland to Bude

June 23, 2016.Minehead to Newquay: Leg 1 Photo Diary

Day 8: Hartland to Bude   This section of the path starts at dramatic Hartland Quay, it is known for being strenuous. But I don’t know it yet because I didn’t get that far in reading the South West Coast Path guide, and… I like a surprise!       Wild and unspoilt   Homely […]

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Tent life and other hikers’ happenings

June 22, 2016.Minehead to Newquay: Leg 1 Photo Diary

Tent life and other hikers’ happenings…   It is a strange feeling to come home to a small cottage always complained of as being too cosy after spending 15 nights in a one man tent. I enter the bedroom, lie on the bed and smile… I smile, not because of its comfort, but because I […]

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Photo Diary: Appledore to Abbotsham

June 21, 2016.Uncategorized

Day 5: Appledore to Abbotsham Simply a few pictures and thanks to those who have shown kindness and generosity along this section of the path Thank you to Greencliff Farm campsite for their generosity and help. The site was peaceful and secluded, Good old fashioned camping once again in a beautiful field which felt like a […]

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Reflections in Georgeham

June 21, 2016.Uncategorized

 Giving Thanks for Kindness and Reflecting upon Henry Williamson’s words in Georgeham After 12 hours and 20 miles on the trail, and despite the hearty cooked vegetarian breakfast in Ilfracombe, I was so hungry when I arrived in Georgeham. I was beginning to feel the exhaustion of previous days in Exmoor. Thank you to The […]

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Photo Diary: Lynton to Watermouth

June 20, 2016.Minehead to Newquay: Leg 1 Photo Diary

Day 3: Lynton to Watermouth Simply pictures as I recently posted a blog on this section of the hike

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Photo Diary: Porlock to Lynton

June 20, 2016.Minehead to Newquay: Leg 1 Photo Diary

Day 2: Porlock to Lynton   Early rising at Sparkhayes Farm campsite, packed and ready to go! Porlock Marsh And spooky trees Lost in pebbles   Porlock Weir signals the beginnings of another change in the landscape. Past Worthy toll and tunnels, the path spends most of the day meandering peacefully through magical woods   […]

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Photo Diary: Minehead to Porlock

June 20, 2016.Minehead to Newquay: Leg 1 Photo Diary

Day 1: Minehead to Porlock Saying goodbye to my family at the South West Coast Path marker. Views over the pebble beaches of the Bristol Channel where gentle slopes gradually become steeper.   Rare sighting of the Exmoor Kangaroo!? The perfect spot for lunch! Porlock in the distance    

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Day 4: Watermouth to Georgeham

June 16, 2016.Uncategorized

Day 4: Watermouth to Georgeham Leaving Watermouth behind means leaving the contrasting landscapes of barren moors and plentiful woodland. Great Hangman and Little Hangman can be seen sleeping in the distance: I bid farewell to a section of the path I have come to love and understand despite its rigours, I shall miss Exmoor’s unforgiving […]

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