Barnet Young Carers Awards: 'We're so proud of all of them'

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The work of young carers from across the borough was celebrated at an awards ceremony.

Barnet Carers Forum hosted the event at Hendon Town Hall, where 78 children aged between five and 17 picked up their awards.

Among them was 16-year-old Mishael Holdbrook, who looks after his mother, who has schizophrenia, and his brother, who has mild autism.

Speaking to the Times Series, Mishael said: "I was coping okay until I got to Year 11 and it was quite hard for me because I had to strike a balance between studying and caring for my family."

The Wren Academy student used to get up between 3am and 4am to study before doing a paper-round, arranging appointments for his mum and taking care of the family's bills.

Speaking about what the awards ceremony means to him, Mishael said: "I don't really think about myself much so to have a day like this is amazing.

"I don't know anyone else who is a carer so it's nice to meet other young people who I can relate to and who understand what you're going through."

Each of the 78 carers were handed their award by the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Hugh Rayner, and chairman of Barnet Carers Forum, Brian Altman.

Mr Altman said: "The aim of the event has really been to recognise child carers and what they do in our community.

"I was a child carer myself and back then no one really understood and I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. Barnet Carers Forum aims to change that and I'm glad that we've been able to involve young people too. We're so proud of all of them."

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