Patron's Award

Emily Hicks

2016 National Winner

Emily has been the main carer for her mother, who is bi-polar, since age 11. Emily is also dyslexic and has had to show real determination and perseverance to achieve her goals.

Despite many challenges, Emily has developed her skills and gained qualifications, work experience and full-time, worthwhile employment.

Emily left school with few GCSEs. She achieved Level 1 and 2 childcare qualifications at York College and worked for a year, but she and her family struggled financially.

After a couple of years Emily returned to learning. She gained qualifications in maths and English, and in 2010 enrolled on an access to social work diploma.

Studying full-time, Emily continued to care for her mother and work to bring in money for the family. In addition to all this, Emily found time to volunteer with young carers, running weekly group sessions.

Emily fulfilled her dream of being accepted onto an undergraduate social care degree at Manchester Met University. Commuting daily was hard, but Emily graduated in 2014 with honours. Despite her success, for two years Emily worked as a low-paid personal care assistant. She applied for numerous jobs, but was held back by her dyslexia.

In 2016 Emily was successful in getting a job as activity co-ordinator at York Carers Centre.

She says, I am determined to make a difference. I want to continue learning, widen my skills and knowledge about the huge scale of problems faced by social care. I want to improve people’s lives and help other young carers.”