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Airing Pain 59: Pain in the Family: Young adults 1 of 2

The expe­ri­ences of young peo­ple whose fam­i­ly is affect­ed by pain and a cam­paign to help improve their lives

This edi­tion has been fund­ed by the City of Edin­burgh Coun­cil and NHS Lothian’s Self-direct­ed Sup­port Inno­va­tion Fund.

Lost child­hood, finan­cial bur­den, emo­tion­al tur­moil and guilt – these are some of the chal­lenges fac­ing young peo­ple who care for peo­ple in pain on top of the car­ing itself. They’re often left feel­ing invis­i­ble, going unrecog­nised and unsup­port­ed for years.

In the first of two pro­grammes putting young car­ers cen­tre stage, Paul Evans talks to a fam­i­ly about how pain has affect­ed their lives. Erin McGuigan was hos­pi­talised after devel­op­ing debil­i­tat­ing pain in her limbs and now uses wheel­chair and crutch­es. She explains how her con­di­tion has affect­ed her broth­er and sis­ters. Her sis­ter, Don­na, talks mov­ing­ly of her feel­ings of pow­er­less­ness, how she has encour­aged Erin, and the need to keep lis­ten­ing and understanding.

Ter­ri Smith a Mem­ber of the Scot­tish Youth Par­lia­ment (MSYP), explains why and how she is cam­paign­ing to improve the sit­u­a­tion for young car­ers. Hours of freely-giv­en care saves the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment £1.4 bil­lion a year, but often leaves young peo­ple strug­gling to stay in edu­ca­tion and finan­cial­ly insecure.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Young peo­ple and chil­dren, fam­i­ly, rela­tion­ships, eco­nom­ic impact, school, edu­ca­tion, young car­ers, finan­cial sup­port, foot pain, peer sup­port, pol­i­cy, leukaemia, finan­cial sup­port and trav­el cost.


  • Erin McGuigan
  • Don­na McGuigan, young carer
  • Lor­na McGuigan, Erin’s mother
  • Ter­ri Smith, MSYP for Edin­burgh and North­ern Leith.