A Level student Sam Manners had the honour of meeting Princess Anne in recognition of his work as a young carer.
Sam, who studies Maths, Physics and Computer Science at Havant & South Downs College, has cared for his mum and brother since primary school.
Sam also works at the Student Union at the College and is part of a group in Petersfield called The King’s Arms, which holds events for other young carers.
At the beginning of the academic year, Sam received a message from The Children’s Group inviting him and two other members from The King’s Arms to a financial training day.
Sam said: “After our training day we had to go back and present our information to our group.
“It is important information because as a young carer you have to know how to handle finances.
“The Children’s Group came in to see our presentations and we were one of the few groups to do it successfully.”
Because of their impressive presentations, Sam and two others were invited to go with The Children’s Group to a young carers conference where Princess Anne would be attending.
Sam said: “Meeting her was interesting – at first it was a bit daunting because we were given these sheets with all these protocols about how to speak to her.
“But then when she came along to greet us she was so natural with us and it was a very down to earth conversation.
“She asked about things I have had to deal with and the difficulties of being a young carer.”
Speaking about the day-to-day issues faced by a young carer, Sam said: “Balancing the work-home life is hard, and knowing how to rest.
“Sometimes you become so tired it is hard to get your College work done. It’s easy getting into the cycle of not being able to perform at your best and not being able to rest.
“My advice for other young carers would be that you always need to give yourself a wellbeing space to make sure you look after yourself.
“It’s very easy to get so in depth with caring or so in depth with college that you don’t look after yourself so ensuring you have space to look after yourself, that is critical.”
Sam’s tutor, Jo Lodder, said: “I have been really impressed with Sam and how he has coped with everything outside of college, including his work with the student union.
“I think that visit with Princess Anne was very well deserved.”