Rachel Tungate

Hello,

I have lived most of my life in Essex, my childhood, was spent with my parents and brother, in a small country ‘chocolate box’ village, where I have fond memories of my friends and I spending summer days out on our bikes, going from house to house when we had run out of food!!!   When I was 12 years old my parents moved to Benfleet, which is where I have continued to live with my own family.   I completed my secondary and further education in Benfleet.

During my career I have always enjoyed studying, in-fact I do not think a year has gone by where I have not studied!!  I have never been a natural academic and I have always had to work really hard to get to where I want to be and to achieve the best results possible.  When I was younger, I always questioned my academic ability, which is why I never went to University, although this was my dream, self doubt always crept in and reinforced the negative messages, that I was not ‘clever’ enough.   Many years later, despite still having those niggling thoughts, I decided that it had to be now or never and so I took the plunge!!  Attending university as a mature student was amazing, but I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions.   Having completed that journey, the feelings of self doubt have now be replaced with an inner pride, I achieved a BA Hons First Class degree and I have proven that you are never too old to enhance your knowledge and education.

Throughout my professional career, I have always chosen to work with young people and their families, which for a number of recent years has included young carers.  I am passionate about people having the opportunity to realise their full potential, within their own lives, but I also recognise that for many, including young carers, they face societal challenges and barriers, which may prevent many from realising their aspirations.  As a child and now as an adult, I have always found myself challenging societal injustice, which was a key driving force to me finally deciding to study social work at university as a mature student.  That soul provoking chapter of my life is now complete, having achieved a First Class Degree.

I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity of co-founding Kool Carers and embarking on this amazing life changing journey with all the truly inspirational young carers and their families that we have and will continue to meet along the way.

On a personal note, I have one daughter Nasia, aged 10, who is a young carer for her Dad.  She is a resilient young lady, like so many young carers are and I owe her more gratitude than she will ever know.  When life became challenging, when I was at university and I considered giving up my studies, Nasia would remind me through her tears (as she did not want me to give up) and when holding my hand, that this was my dream and she wanted me to live it.  It is thanks to her, my partner Ash and my Mum, Jill that I did live that dream and what developed from that was an even bigger dream, Kool Carers, which is now an implausible reality.

One interesting fact about me; when I was younger I participated in the Royal Tournament at Earls Court and also The Royal Albert Hall, dancing and performing with the Girls Brigade!!!

Interests; Spending time chilling with my family, friends and my pets make me really happy, as my life is so busy, sometimes it is so easy to forget that time with loved ones making special memories is so important.   I also love attending the theatre, for many years I wanted to become a theatrical makeup artist.  I also have a passion for interior design and foreign travel.

Rachel Tungate

Co-Founder and Project Manager

 

Nasia, ‘My  Inspiration.’