Nicky Williams lies awake at night fraught with stress and anxiety as to what her's and her son's future holds.

Single mum Nicky, from West Watford, cares for her boy, Jenson, 6, who has severe autism, learning disabilities, and hypermobility.

To this day, Jenson has never been able to say 'mummy' and the six-year-old struggles to make sense of the world around him.

The care she provides for her son has taken its toll on Nicky's life too.

The 44-year-old mother of one has a degenerative condition affecting her spine which has already seen her have three discs removed from her lower back. She also suffers from endometriosis.

She said: “I had surgery last year. The impact it had on Jenson was unbearable – he couldn’t cope with my anxiety or his own and started to head butt walls, seriously hurting himself. I just couldn’t bear to see him so distressed, so I’d rather put up with the pain than have a hysterectomy.”

Nicky's social life has changed too. Friendships have dwindled.

She works as much as she can - Nicky gave up her cleaning business to look after Jenson - but money is tight.

So Nicky sought help, approaching the Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, which was able to provide Jenson with a specialist buggy to make it easier for both of them to get out, without leaving Nicky in crippling pain.

This week is Carers Week - an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

Nicky added: “I think parents who are carers find it hard to talk, especially when they’re struggling – the sense of duty you have towards your child is overwhelming – you want to be able to cope but it isn’t easy.

"My biggest fear is what will happen to Jenson when I’m not here to protect him. Having the buggy from Newlife means we won’t be as isolated and I am working with Carers in Herts to get some support. I think it’s just important to talk.”

For support, contact or visit to find out more about Newlife