Ella McKenzie

20th August 15

Ella is 19 and the primary carer for her mother who suffers from long-term health issues. Ella undertakes a range of both physical and practical roles within the home as well as being a cornerstone of emotional support and guidance for her brother. Ella’s ultimate goal is to join the army.

Having been a carer for many years, Ella was aware of the gaps in services and areas that could have supported her more had the right questions been asked by the right people at the right times. To ensure future Young Carers did not go unidentified or unsupported, Ella, with the support of Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, visited her local GP surgery and spoke to them about the issues young people face and what they need to help them undertake caring roles without physical or emotional costs to themselves and their future aspirations and goals.

Ella delivered training to staff at the surgery to help them identify Young Carers attending the practice as well as offering the surgery advice on how to approach and engage Young Carers. Ella is planning to hold drop-in and support sessions at the practice for Young Carers/Young Adult Carers in the community.

Ella has long been an advocate of a selection of projects supporting, and raising awareness of the issues Young Carers/Young Adult Carers face both locally for Carers Trust Cambridgeshire and nationally as a Programme Guider for Carers Trust. Ella recently took part in ‘Take the Lead’ project and is currently working for us on special projects in the Young Carers/Young Adult Carers team.

Carers Trust Cambridgeshire is so proud of Ella’s achievements that we nominated her for the Marsh Carer Award which, we are delighted to report, she won for the East and Midland region.

Ella also was on a Carers Trust Cambridgeshire project called ‘Take the Lead’; a 6 month leadership and development course which the outcome was an 6 month paid position at Carers Trust Cambridgeshire. Out of 7 young people that applied Ella was selected and currently leads on Young Adult Carer projects and also works with other organisations, such as CPFT and NHS England and national Carers Trust on projects and in an advisory capacity.

8 December 2015

We are delighted that Ella is to receive the prestigious Queen’s Young Leader Award in recognition of her outstanding caring and leadership role in the community.

Ella is one of 60 young people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth to win the award from 20,000 nominations.

Winners of this prestigious Award will receive a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK during which they will collect their Award from Her Majesty The Queen. Watch this space for an update when Ella receives the Award.