Former JLS member Oritsé Williams will host a one-off documentary called ‘Britains Youngest Carers’ which will be broadcast on Channel 4.
As a young boy, Oritsé dedicated a lot of time to his mother who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and became a young carer for her with his other siblings.
He created the boyband JLS to earn money to care for his mum, and his brother was going to become a scientist to help find a cure with the money they would make.
Speaking to the Radio Times, the JLS member recalled a panic striken situation with his mum: ‘I head a crash from the bathroom. I had to pick the lock with a coin and mum was lying on the floor. I was terrified. I remember calling an ambulance and praying she was OK’.
The programmes aim is to raise awareness about this unknown demographic of young people who are severely under-served and underrated. ‘There is a silent army of young people out there and we know nothing about them’ Oritsé says, adding ‘we need to have a conversation about it rather than turning away’.
The 27 year old understands the struggles of other young carers around the country, who had to juggle caring for their parents, completing school work and taking part in social events.
JLS sold 10 million records, 5 albums achieved two BRIT awards and five MOBO awards. Despite this however, Williams revealed ‘I haven’t made a crazy amount of money, but I’ve made enough to give her the best care possible and that’s all that matters’. Later saying ‘my focus isn’t fast cars and big houses; I’d rather use my money to take care of my family’.
The Channel 4 documentary will be shown on Wednesday 9th of July at 11pm.
Oritsé talks about being a young carer here: