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Cornish schoolgirl caring for mum 24/7 since crash

Cornish schoolgirl caring for mum 24/7 since crash

Published by Emma Carton at 8:15am 27th February 2020. (Updated at 2:11pm 27th February 2020)

Meet the Cornish schoolgirl who is caring for her mum round-the-clock.

51-year-old Suzanna Salter from St Ives was seriously injured in a crash.

She was left with spinal damage and arthritis and also suffers from a long-term lung disease.

Her daughter, 11-year-old Marissa, is among the young carers backing calls for more support.

Figures show many are spending up to 25 hours a week looking after loved ones, which is the equivalent of over £12,000 a year on a part-time carer's wage.

"Sometimes it can be a little bit lonely".

Scroll down to hear Marissa and Suzanna's story or read how to access the support from Action for Children.

Young Carer Marissa and Mum Suzanna
A Cornish schoolgirl who has been looking after her mum since a serious crash calls for more support for young carers. Photo: Family Photo

Marissa and Suzanna's Story:

11-year-old Marissa Salter from St Ives has been a young carer since her mum was involved in a serious crash.

51-year-old Suzanna was left with spinal damage and arthritis several years ago.

She also suffers from long-term lung disease, COPD, which causes shortness of breath.

"In the mornings I have to get mum out of bed, help her put her socks on and make her coffee. 

"I also do the washing up, help with cleaning and the laundry and cooking. 

"And I walk down to the shops to do the shopping because Mum isn't supposed to lift anything. 

"I get upset sometimes because I go online and see all my friends are going to places that I want to go to, and they haven't told me about it because they know I can't go".

Marissa Salter

You can hear Marissa's full story here...

11-year-old Marissa Salter from St Ives talks about the need for more support for young carers like herself.

Marissa is supported by St Blazey-based group, Kernow Young Carers, funded by Cornwall Council and run by Action for Children.

She recently appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show to call for more action from the government.

The 11-year-old wants ministers to do more to make sure young carers have access to similar groups.

Mum Suzanna has said that her daughter amazes her on a daily basis, but admits to often feeling guilty.

Young Carer Marissa and Mum Suzanna
11-year-old Marissa Salter from St Ives says other young carers need access to the sort of support she has from Kernow Young Carers. Photo: Family Photo

"She amazes me on a daily basis at how positive she can be even though I know she gets upset when she sees her friends go off to the beach or the skate park and I feel guilty as I can't walk her down there. 

"I feel guilty, as if I'm not letting her have a childhood but at least through Action for Children's Kernow Young Carers she gets that interaction and support from the staff. 

"We know we can call our support worker Louise anytime and Marissa has really enjoyed the trips they organise because she gets to meet other children in her situation. 

"I honestly don't know where we'd be without it".

Suzanna Salter

You can read more about the support offered by Kernow Young Carers here.

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