Recorder Christmas appeal: Young carers Adam and Mason on how Barnardo’s Indigo Project has changed their lives

PUBLISHED: 12:29 29 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:02 29 October 2015

From left, Adam Saeed, Jo Chaney, Sabina Akhtar, Mason Pickton, Parul Begum, at the project in Granville Road, Ilford

From left, Adam Saeed, Jo Chaney, Sabina Akhtar, Mason Pickton, Parul Begum, at the project in Granville Road, Ilford


Helping out in the home is something young carers Mason Pickton and Adam Saeed are happy to do – but it leaves little time for the simple pleasures which many young people take for granted.

Recorder Appeal: Dreaming of an Indigo ChristmasRecorder Appeal: Dreaming of an Indigo Christmas

Kicking a football around and shooting basketball hoops are two hobbies Mason, 13, has been able to enjoy since he began coming to the Indigo project two months ago.

He said: “When I’m at home I look after my mum and my sister, who is six.

“My mum had a heart operation when I was about 10. She finds it hard to move around and gets breathless quite quickly.

“I do a lot of the washing up and cleaning, and I sometimes have to take my sister to school on the bus when my mum isn’t able to, and then go on to my school. I’m used to it now.

“They said there would be someone from my school at the young carers’ club. I didn’t know who it would be until I got here and saw Adam.”

The pair, who both attend Isaac Newton Academy, Cricklefield Place, Ilford, said a day out with their families was a rare occasion.

For Adam, 15, coming to Indigo has helped boost his self-confidence and overcome shyness

He said: “My mum has arthritis so I have to help out with a lot of the physical things at home, like cleaning and washing up.

“She told me one day that I was going to start coming to this club every Friday. I knew absolutely no one.

“I wasn’t the type of person to jump into things, I would just keep myself to myself, even though I was one of the oldest in the group. I’ve been coming for two and a half years now.”

For both boys, being able to enjoy a Christmas meal out with their families would be very special.

Mason said: “Even though my mum has had a heart transplant, I’m still able to go out with my friends and play, but we don’t go out that much together as a family.

“My mum doesn’t really care about the cost, it’s just kind of hard for her to go out to places.”

Adam said: “We hardly ever go out as a family because when we do there are eight of us and it can end up costing a lot of money, so it would be really good to have a Christmas meal out together.”

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