Jada* is 15 years old and is a young carer for her mother Maya*, who bravely tackles mental health problems, as a result of the emotional, mental and sexual abuse she suffered for most of her life. For Jada being a young carer means providing lots of emotional support to her mum Maya, as well as completing tasks around the house.
Encouraged by her mum, Jada found a love of the performing arts, using them as an important alternative outlet from her responsibilities at home.
Maya heard about the Fashion & Textiles Children's Trust (FTCT) through another charity and applied for a grant, towards fees for a drama course, for Jada. Maya used to work at Sainsbury's, which made her eligible to apply.
FTCT awarded a grant to cover a four-year course, while Jada finished her studies at secondary school.
“The grant has given Jada and I precious quality time together", Maya told FTCT, "without my mind having to worry about money. She has gained so much confidence on the course - she has now enrolled on a Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Performing Arts at college!"
Maya would encourage other parents with connections to the fashion and textiles industries to "please give FTCT a chance to help you, by picking up the phone and calling them. My daughter and I are eternally grateful that we did!”
What help does FTCT give young carers?
The Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust (FTCT) helps families who work or have previously worked in the UK fashion and textile industry.
Many people think immediately of 'catwalks' and 'models' when they see the word 'fashion', but FTCT’s industry criteria covers several sectors including womenswear, menswear, footwear, interiors, soft furnishings, soft accessories, textiles and even supermarkets which sell clothing. The charity also accepts applications from individuals who are long term unemployed (within the last nine years), providing they have previously worked in the industry for one year or more.
The charity provides financial grants to support young carers whose have a parent with a connection to the fashion and textile industry in a number of ways. Whether to pay for essential items to make day-to-day life easier, like clothing, bedding and white goods or something more specific, like respite activities such as Jada's drama course.
Grants start at £250 and there is just one simple application form to fill in. This can either be completed by the young carer's parent/guardian or a support worker.
Jill Haines, from FTCT, says: "The work young carers do is astounding. They have to grow-up so fast and shoulder responsibilities most adults won’t ever experience.
"Through respite activities, young carers are given space and time to just be kids, to express themselves and take precious time away from their home situation. While funding for basic items can make everyday life that little bit simpler."
Find out more about FTCT
To start applying, call FTCT’s friendly team in confidence today on 0300 123 9002 or fill out the FTCT's simple online enquiry form.
Further information can be found on the FTCT website or read the FTCT profile on the Turn2us Grants Search.
Please note: It is important that you have evidence of your trade connection before we can start work on your application (P45, P60, letter from employer/accountant, NI letter showing at least one year’s employment). Please ensure you have at least ONE of these documents to hand, and then we can get your enquiry underway!
Photo: Supplied by FTCT and used with permission.
*Personal details have been changed to protect identities.
Date of publication: 28 January 2016