1. ITV Report

Somerset young carers' health under threat from 'excessive levels of stress'

Young carers Bassie (left) and Immy (right) Wakefield say caring for their mum often leaves them stressed and worried. Credit: ITV News West Country

Young carers living in Somerset say the strain of looking after a parent has left them feeling “stressed” and “worried”.

It comes after new research by Carers Trust found more than a third of young carers across the UK feel the same way.

Half of those who said they felt stressed said they often felt that way, and concerns have been raised about the impact this may have on their mental health.

Young carer Bassie Wakefield, who lives in Somerset and looks after his mum Fleur with the help of sister Immy, said his daily mood largely depends on how his mother is feeling.

Immy caring for her mum Fleur. Credit: ITV News West Country

Some days it can be difficult and some days it can be fine, but it all depends on how my mum’s feeling.

It’s quite stressful because I go to school and I just worry about my mum.

– Bassie

The survey found more than a third of young people aged between 11 and 18, who care for someone they live with, worry about their mental wellbeing.

Immy said: “It is life-changing. You know that looking at your friends at school, you’re not like them."

Bassie lighting a fire for his mum. Credit: ITV News West Country

“You’ve got to go home and go shopping, or do the cleaning, or do the cooking. You don’t expect children to have to do that level of care for their parents or their siblings and it’s just difficult.”

Mum Fleur added: “You’re putting a real strain on your children every day. There’s no time when you’re not going to put a strain on them.

“It’s all the time, constant.”