Neil grew up in a loving family in which they all cared for his younger brother who has learning disabilities. Life wasn’t always easy, and they had struggles along the way, however, like most families they stuck together to ensure his brother had the best quality of life as they could provide.

Complications arose when Neil was admitted into a hospital for his mental health, and his father suffered a stroke at the same time. Life changed overnight, and on release from the hospital, Neil became a full-time carer to both his brother and father.

“The only time I have to myself is on the bus from home to work which is my breathing space and then again I try to unwind on the bus home from work.”

Balancing work life and caring, Neil continuingly puts his family first. Pushing through his own anxiety to ensure they access services so both family members do not become isolated, this leave Neil no time for himself, Neil statessteep learning curve to be now a sole carer to both. Neil has struggled to come to terms with the challenges this brings.

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Although Neil grew up supporting his dad to take care of his brother, it was a steep learning curve to be now a sole carer to both. Neil has struggled to come to terms with the challenges this brings.

Neil is supported through work and they have supported him to be flexible in his working pattern. When asked if Neil enjoys caring he states, “I do, I do enjoy it, I enjoy it more because I’ve got my workplace supporting me.”  Neil says “In 2017 we had heavy snow, Dad was in the QE, my brother had to get to college, and I had no way of getting into work. I rang them up and they told me “your family comes first, just do what you have to do, have the day off as paid holiday”. I was then able to take the weekend to travel back and forth from the hospital and care for my brother and not have to worry about work which was so helpful!   They understood as soon as I explained it. Now they understand my situation they let me keep my mobile on the shop floor just in case I need to answer the phone.  They have been really flexible with my work pattern.”

Neil has struggled to find out what support he can get and reached out to Birmingham Carers Hub to learn more.

Neil is keen to access support groups and meet other people, he says “Sometimes I feel like I’m alone, so having someone else in my area who may have been through the situation and can help me and then I can help them when they need help would be great.” however his anxiety means he struggles to make the next step. To help support this, we have been able to introduce him to Rosie who leads the Birmingham Museums Creative Carers sessions and he is now more comfortable to attend.


If you want to know about more support and attend one of our activities, then get in touch with Birmingham Carers Hub 0333 006 9711 or visit our website