Jigsaw volunteer Emily, 18, from Donegal tells her story:
As a daughter of an essential worker, I’ve come to recognise that downtime is non-existent these days for some workers. Dinner time is rarely a shared occasion. As I write this, she’s on her second phone call of the day, on her day off. This is the new normal for myself, and a lot of other young people living with an essential worker during this pandemic.
For many young adults in Ireland, over the past few months there has been additional stress alongside the fact that we’re living through a global pandemic. For some, almost overnight, they have gained a new responsibility, not only for themselves but for siblings and other family members too. In many cases, their parents have been occupied with helping to fight the ongoing crisis.
For myself, in addition to trying to keep on top of college work, I have been looking after my five younger siblings. This includes doing the washing, tidying up the house and making sure they are all fed and watered, as well as checking in to make sure they are OK with their schoolwork. This has been stressful and frustrating at times, but overall very rewarding to know that the pressure is taken off my mammy somewhat when she gets home from work in the evenings.