THERE are an estimated 2,500 young carers in Barnsley aged eight to 18.

Among them is 16-year-old Jasmine Batley who has been caring for her dad, who has non-Hodgkin lymphoma, since she was 14.

Jasmine has lived with her 46-year-old dad since her parents split up when she was a baby. Her father and step-mum also parted when she was ten.

When her dad was diagnosed with cancer, Jasmine had to grow up quickly, taking on household tasks like cooking and cleaning - as well as more personal care such as washing her dad when he was feeling very poorly.

"I stopped going to school because I worried about my dad when I was there," she said. "He had to have chemotherapy at Weston Park in Sheffield and I was getting the train and tram to see him. I had no option, he's my dad."

Jasmine's caring commitments meant that friends drifted away. She said: "I felt they didn't understand what I was doing. I became really depressed."

The pressure became too much and Jasmine attempted to take her own life. She took tablets and was taken to hospital after her dad found her.

As part of the package of support to help Jasmine, she was referred to Barnardo's Barnsley Young Carer's project, a service commissioned by Barnsley Council.

"At first I wouldn't talk to them," she said. "But they never gave up and I agreed to meet other young carers at the Young Carer's Council."

Since then, group sessions with other carers and one to one sessions helped Jasmine build confidence and make new friends.

She has just completed her GCSEs and is going to Barnsley College in September to study social care.

Do you know a young carer as dedicated as Jasmine? Why not nominate them for a Proud of Barnsley award? The closing date is September 9. Call 01226 734459 or visit here to nominate someone.