Sharon

Sharon is a young carer. Her brother has a chromosome irregularity which means he is non-verbal, partially sighted and has regular seizures which mean he cannot be left alone at any time.

Sharon has two younger sisters, both of whom have less damaging variations of the same genetic problem. These present as mild learning difficulties.

The family home is overcrowded. Sharon shares a room with both younger sisters.

Eighteen months ago, Sharon was a victim of online grooming. She had arranged to meet a man who it transpired was a registered sex offender. There followed a full police investigation which Sharon found to be very traumatic.

When first introduced to her mentor, Sharon would not leave the house unless her mum accompanied her. She had withdrawn from participating in the sports she used to enjoy and was spending all of her time at home caring for her brother.

Money is very tight at home so Sharon often has to share clothes with her mum. This makes her very body conscious and she dresses to hide herself whenever possible.

Sharon enjoys school but struggles to keep up as she has nowhere at home to where she can escape to do her homework.

PROMISEworks support workers have liaised with school to see if space can be made in Sharon's timetable for her to complete most of her homework during school time. Her mentor is also helping Sharon with various subjects when they meet.

Sharon enjoys cooking. She and her mentor often cook a meal together which Sharon then takes back for her whole family to enjoy.

Sharon's mum has noticed that her confidence is growing and she is starting to visit friends again outside of school.

There is a 35-year age gap between Sharon and her mentor, so out of curiosity the mentor asked her what she enjoyed about the time they spent together.

Sharon said "...you are an inspiration and make me believe anything is possible."