We're bidding a fond farewell this week to one of our young carers, Lauren, who turns 25.

Lauren has been registered with Worcestershire Young Carers since 2006; she was initially referred to the service as her father has significant mental health issues and Lauren was caring for him alongside her mother. 

During her time with us, Lauren has joined in with young carers' clubs and activities and when she has struggled with more difficult times, has received 1-1 support from a Worcestershire Young Carers keyworker.

Lauren's father now lives in sheltered housing and Lauren lives in her own flat; although Lauren continues to care for her father, as she turns 25 she officially becomes an adult carer and will now receive support from Worcestershire Association of Carers.  

Many young carers do not have the same educational opportunities due to their caring role; however Lauren is a real success story and has achieved a degree in Media and Journalism from the University of Worcester, all the while caring for her parents. 

She has also contributed a great deal in helping promote and raise awareness of the many issues affecting young carers: she has helped organise several Young Carers' Conferences with BBC Children in Need-funded Participation Group, at which she has acted as Chairperson, while at others she spoke out, made vlogs, and took part in short sketches. She has also appeared in newspaper articles and on the radio, and most recently, Lauren helped promote young carers during Carers Week with a video for social media. In May 2018, Lauren represented YSS Young Carers at the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Jon Cawdron, Worcestershire Young Carers Team Leader, said: "Happy birthday Lauren! You are a total inspiration to all of us, including other young carers and it has been a real privilege to see you achieve your goals over the years. We wish you all the best for the future Lauren - we know you'll go far. We will miss you!"