Following on from our development workshop with a group of Young Carers, thanks to Cross Roads East Anglia, on October 26th Anna has come up with some key notes about the script & characters. These are just initial ideas and will evolve through the process.
- The carer/character is a young woman aged 17, called Jas. (Short for Jasmine)
- She cares for her mother, Wendy, who has a psychiatric illness, and for her sister Sophie, aged 20, who is severely autistic and often goes out wandering. She has had several episodes of going off with people, particularly if they have dogs, as she adores dogs. Jas desperately wants the family to have a dog so that Sophie will stay at home, but her mum says no, and that she’s allergic, which may/may not not true.
- Jas has a tracker on Sophie’s iPhone so that she can always see where her sister is, but that only helps when Jas can have her phone on, or get to her sister quickly enough.
- Jas started caring for her mum and sister when she was 4
- Her best friend is another young carer, Dom, who cares for his sister Amy who is Sophie’s friend, also severely autistic.
- Jas and Dom live near each other but it might as well be a hundred miles, as their caring duties and college courses mean they have to stay in touch via FB and other social media, often interrupted by caring duties.
- Jas can watch her mum/talk to her through FaceTime, but often Wendy doesn’t answer … because she wants to be alone and is having one of her Black Dog Days (the real reason why she won’t have a dog is because she thinks of her illness as a black dog, half beast, which visits her)
- Jas’s escape from her life is running and parkour, which she does partly to get wherever she’s going as quickly as possible, and more importantly, to get back…
- She imagines herself as the Superclocker, a superhero who can freeze time.
- Wendy has promised Jas and Sophie that she will go to Disneyworld Florida with them one day…
And now a few of the phrases Jas may say
- ‘I’m different to everyone else I know… But I am NOT special.’
- ‘I don’t have time to waste.’
- ‘Give me an extra hour a day and I’ll change the world.’
- ‘I have hopes. I have dreams. But they’re mine, so don’t try and get inside my head, because if I want to let you in, you’ll know it.’
- ‘Don’t hide. Admit to yourself what you are and get on with it.’
What do you think?
We’re continually working with young carers and their support workers to move the development along. But if you want to share your insights or thoughts then please do get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org