JLS star Oritsé Williams has revealed how becoming a teenage carer for his mum when he was just 12 inspired him to front an upcoming C4 documentary, Britain’s Youngest Carers.
In it. Oritsé meets youngsters from across the UK who take care of their parents on a daily basis, as well as experts who work with these young people to help them cope in a situation that can be a huge strain.
“I wanted to make this film on Britain’s Young Carers to bring awareness to the public after feeling isolated as a young carer myself,” says Oritse, whose mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “In this programme I expose the unknown.”
Oritsé will meet teenage carers who, once they’re home from school, take care of their parents before being able to socialise with friends or doing their homework. He also meets carers who are even younger, including a six-year-old boy who cares for his mother, helping out with daily chores that most six year olds would not even think of doing.
Official figures show that around 200,000 children in the UK are caring for their parents, but experts believe this could be as high as 700,000 and the last census showed that the biggest age group increase in young carers was with children under seven.
The documentary will screen later in 2014.