A young woman with long brown hair looks at the camera

Barnardo’s is helping young carer Emily and her mum stay fed and warm

Read how we’re supporting Emily to take part in fun activities, provide potentially lifesaving training and help her and her mum through the winter. 

Emily* was referred to Barnardo’s by her school back in 2020, when she was 10 years old. Emily struggled to best support her mum when she had seizures at home, so Barnardo's arranged for her to do some first aid training. 

Supporting Emily and her mum through the cost-of-living crisis 

As well as supporting Emily with first aid training, we have also helped her and her mum access our Cost-of-Living Fund. The fund provides emergency help to families supported by our UK-wide services who can no longer afford the basics due to the intense financial pressures they are facing.   

Last winter was a tough for Emily and her mum. Their pre-payment electric meter would “burn” through credit and sometimes even £30 wouldn’t last until the next morning. When Emily's mum was unable to put any more money on the meter, they resorted to wearing lots of blankets and coats, but as Emily says, “these don’t always keep you warm, and if it wasn’t for Barnardo’s, we wouldn’t have been able to keep the heating on at all.”  

Because of her epilepsy, Emily's mum is unable to work. Along with support for their energy bills, we have also been able to provide her mum with supermarket vouchers and help the family move from their old house into a smaller flat, which Emily describes as “much better because it gets warm quicker.” The flat is also more affordable in terms of bills.  

“There are times when our kitchen cupboards are bare, and my mum has to ask my older sister for food. My mum doesn’t like to do this - no mum would - but I know my mum is a really good parent, it’s just hard for her and other families in a similar situation. That’s why Barnardo’s is such an important charity. It helps families when they need it most.” 

Helping Emily achieve her dreams 

“Recently, my mum’s benefits payment was delayed, which meant she couldn’t afford for me to go on a day trip during the school holidays. The bus fare was £2.20, but when you’re struggling to make ends meet, saving every penny is important. If it hadn’t been for Barnardo’s, I wouldn’t have been able to go on the trip."  

Thanks to Barnardo’s, I’ve been able to stay warm and fed and also take part in fun activities such as paddleboarding, which has helped develop my confidence.


Emily's project worker Kirsty told us, “I’m so proud of Emily. She has shown incredible resilience and courage over the past three years, and she illustrates the positive difference your support can make to the lives of children who are battling immense challenges.” 

*Names have been changed and models used to protect the identities of the young people we help.

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