The impact of pain on the family is “neglected”. Lost childhood, financial burden, emotional turmoil and guilt – these are some of the challenges facing family members who care for people in pain on top of the caring itself. Caring for someone in pain can be especially challenging for young adults, as they find themselves in a difficult situation of having to combine school, social activities and future planning with, what often appears, full time caring responsibilities.
Pain Concern has secured a £12,000 grant from Edinburgh City Council to help us establish the impact of pain on young carers for people living with chronic pain. We want to be able to help young adults aged 16-25 and provide them with better support so that their work gets the well-deserved recognition.
The approval of the grant application – under the auspices of Lothian Health Trust – will enable us to fund more of our highly successful information campaigns and quarterly in-house magazine Pain Matters. It will also contribute towards two more Airing Pain radio programmes and our website.
As part of the project we have established an online forum for young adult carers Pain Concern Carer Community, where they can share their experiences of coping with illness in their social or familiar circles. With the funds from the grant we are able to offer expert support for young carers through the forum’s Questions section as well as social media channels where young adult carers can raise any concerns or questions which will then be taken to our expert panel for answers.
Chairperson of Pain Concern Heather Wallace said the grant allocation from Edinburgh City Council was “more than welcome”.
“Chronic pain not only blights an individual’s life. Indirectly it affects the life of the whole family. This award is a recognition of the efforts of young people caring for an individual enduring chronic pain.
“Sadly there is no cure for chronic pain and all too often the needs of family members are overlooked on how best to deal with the issue. Pain Concern believes the best ways to support carers is to support and improve the quality of their lives.”
The two Airing Pain programmes will be broadcast on 17th June and 1st July, with the first programme focusing on the story of the McGuigan family and how chronic pain affects their family life; we also hear Terri Smith a Member of Scottish Youth Parliament explaining how they campaign to improve the situation for young carers.