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“Tyler Tassell, nine, from Headington, has Asperger’s Syndrome, which affects the way he socialises with people and forms friendships – but that doesn’t stop him caring for his autistic brother Connor, who was also born with crippling digestion problems, and his mum, Marie Gellatly, who has a heart condition.

Mrs Gellatly, 35, said: “Tyler is a very special little boy. Having Asperger’s means he gets anxious and often feels isolated, but the care he shows me and Connor and his other brother Joshua is above and beyond what you would expect from a child his age.”

10:40am Sunday 17th October 2010

By Debbie Waite »

EACH day in the county, 11,000 children leave for school or work having helped a parent or sibling in some way.

Children as young as four have made breakfast, put in a load of washing, maybe even helped bathe and dress a loved one.

Then after school the cycle begins again; preparing food and doing the shopping and housework, before they do their homework or have time for themselves.

More than 13,000 children in the UK care for over 50 hours per week, receiving no payment and often without their schools or neighbours even knowing they are carers.

Thankfully, in Oxfordshire they have a lifeline – a network of groups funded by Oxfordshire County Council. Here they can just be children, learn new skills and find someone to listen their worries.

But like all local government-funded services, the Young Carers groups’ funding is about the come under the scrutiny of the Government’s spending review.

On Wednesday, chancellor George Osborne will announce cash cuts and councils will find out in December how much they will get.

Daniel Blake, from Little Bury, Greater Leys, Oxford, is only five, but spends time every day caring for his brother Aidan, nine, who has cerebral palsy.

Daniel’s mother, Donna Blake, 42, said: “Daniel has watched his brothers and sisters caring for Aidan since he was a baby and now he just does the same. He will fetch and carry for Aidan, take off his leg splints and put them away, as well as helping around the house, and he also shares a room with Aidan, so he is always there to get what he needs.

“My husband Karl and I are amazed by our children’s bravery, care and compassion every day. Children get a bad press, but there are so many out there, like ours, who put others first.”

The Blake’s have seven children at home – Callum, 15, twins Kyle and Jade, 14, Keisha, 11, Aidan, nine, Daniel, five and Maya, three. Their three older children, Crystal, 25, Gavin, 24 and Darren, 23, have already left home.

Jade, 14, said: “We all love Aidan and want to help him. He is getting quite big, so lifting him is difficult now, but he is our brother and we all do what we can for him.”

Ask Riley Stokes, 12, from Witney, why he helps his sister Tillie and he’ll probably shrug and say: “Because she’s my sister.”

But Tillie, nine, has had more than 1,000 seizures since she was 18 months old and parents, Emma, 42 and Andrew, 40, say Riley is unfazed by her need for constant care. Mrs Stokes said: “We found out Tillie had a rare genetic disorder, with no permanent diagnosis. Riley has only really known Tillie as she is now – with epilepsy, incontinence and learning difficulties.

“He is amazing with her and an amazing help to us.”

Tyler Tassell, nine, from Headington, has Asperger’s Syndrome, which affects the way he socialises with people and forms friendships – but that doesn’t stop him caring for his autistic brother Connor, who was also born with crippling digestion problems, and his mum, Marie Gellatly, who has a heart condition.

Mrs Gellatly, 35, said: “Tyler is a very special little boy. Having Asperger’s means he gets anxious and often feels isolated, but the care he shows me and Connor and his other brother Joshua is above and beyond what you would expect from a child his age.”

Mrs Gellatly, who is a nursery nurse, underwent major heart surgery two years ago, after doctors discovered her heart was stopping without warning.

She said: “Tyler probably does more household chores than other children his age and he is also a great help playing with Connor, and feeding and reading to Joshua while I am busy with Connor.”

Tyler said: “I like to play with Connor and help my mummy and daddy. I get my mummy’s medicine when she is hurting and help her do housework.”

Along with the Blake children, Tyler attends Oxford Young Carers, based at Oxford Carers Centre in Cowley Road.

Here they get to play games, learn new skills and go away on trips.

Read in Full:  http://www.bicesteradvertiser.net/news/oxfordshire/8456590.Young_carers_need_care_too/

 



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