Robyn's Story

Robyn began caring for her younger brother Thomas and her mother, who suffers from severe depression, aged just eight.

While their father was at work Robyn looked after Thomas, who was only three at the time.

“I stopped seeing my friends because I needed to be there for Thomas. I was worried what they would say if they knew.”

Robyn’s priority wasn’t her schoolwork or playing with friends. The needs of her family came first.

“I never talked about my feelings with anyone. The teachers didn’t know what was happening at home either.”

Social services referred Robyn to Barnardo’s.

Eventually Robyn began to trust her support worker. She attended sessions with other young carers and her self-esteem grew.

“Barnardo’s helped me to open up, to make new friends and to believe in myself.”

Robyn’s life has turned around since coming to Barnardo’s. In September Robyn started university and wants to become a maths teacher and help others.


Barnardo’s runs services across the UK to support disadvantaged families. For example we help young carers and their families find the support they are entitled to and we provide advice and emotional support. We also provide opportunities for young carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities.

Find out more about how we support disadvantaged families

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Emergency numbers

If you think that a child is in immediate danger please dial 999. Alternatively please contact your local authority social care department, or the NSPCC 24 hour child protection helpline listed below.

If you are a child who needs help, please call Childline on 0800 11 11.

Alternatively, please call 0808 800 5000 to discuss your concerns with the NSPCC 24 Hour Child Protection Helpline.

If you are concerned about a Barnardo's member of staff, volunteer or carer please call the relevant national or regional office and speak to a Barnardo's senior manager or children's services representative.