Aberdeenshire mum Catriona Gray is among hundreds doing the Aberdeen Kiltwalk to raise money for local charities.
Her personal fundraiser will be to help Quarriers Young Carers Support Service (Aberdeenshire) after they have helped her daughter Isla deal with her role as junior carer for her little brother who has additional support needs.
Catriona, who lives between Turriff and Inverurie, noticed that she was constantly asking Isla to do extra things and realized she was actually a young caretaker and needed extra support, which she received through the Quarriers Service.
“I kept finding myself saying, ‘Isla, can you just…’ and I could see that she was doing a lot more than the normal sister would do,” Catriona said. “For example, Ryan can’t zip his jacket so I’ll sometimes say, ‘Isla,’ Can you help him squeeze it in?”
“He’s worried about going upstairs in the house alone, so I’ll ask her to go with him to fetch his things from his room.
“He’ll also go to Isla to help with things if he sees I’m busy.”
As soon as the lockdown ended, Catriona contacted Quarriers Young Carers Support in Aberdeenshire.
“Lisa, Isla’s support worker, helped her write a statement for young carers, and when Catriona read it, it was clear Isla needed someone neutral to talk to.”
Catriona continued: “All the things that had bubbles for them are all gone.
“One thing I had no idea was that Isla really wanted to spend some alone time with her dad and me.
“I was always trying to fit in with the weird Girls’ Day in the Town for me and her, but what she wanted more than anything was spending time with her mom and dad.
“So, we did more of that.
Now, I know Isla has a support worker to talk to, and I understand that there are some things she talks to Lisa that she hasn’t spoken to me about.
“It may be hard, but I also want her to have an adult she can trust.
This is what I was looking for when I called the service.
“I am so proud of Isla and everything she does for her little brother.”
Catriona is doing the 18-mile Kiltwalk in Aberdeen on June 4 to help the Quarrier say thank you for all the support Isla has received and to help raise additional funds for the service.
“I’ve finished the Kiltwalk before, so I know what to expect,” she says.
“For training, I go out with the dogs and this is my time to myself.
“I put my headphones to my ears, turn on my podcast, and all is well.”
The Quarriers Aberdeenshire Young Carers Service assist young people under the age of 18 who are helping to care for or support a loved one who has a disability, illness, drug, alcohol or mental health problem.
The service can help in several ways –
By working with the young carer to reduce their role in care.
Listen to them and understand what is going on.
Talk to other professionals on their behalf if they want to.
Help them meet their friends and meet other young people’s caregivers.
Quarantines can also help provide training to help them feel more confident in their caring role.
If you’d like to donate to Catriona’s fundraiser, go to:www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Catriona-Gray2
For more information on the services offered, go to www.quarriers.org.uk/services/young-carers-support-service-aberdeenshire/
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