His mum had come to the UK from Bangladesh as a 19-year-old bride, so there was little support from extended family – but it was an accident when Thupayal was 15 and his brother, Mohammed, 11 that truly turned their lives upside down.
Thupayal had to take charge of the household. He became his mum’s carer and, effectively, a parent to his younger brother.
“It literally went from not really having to worry about much in life… to helping her up, to get dressed, taking her to the toilet, making sure she could eat, that her medication was given on time.”
Despite support from social workers, he had to fight to persuade the council to provide adequate care for his mum.
The scheduled visits were often so short the carers barely had time to check on her let alone help her properly, he says.
Just lately it is even harder to stay in my house, my geographical middle. This is because my siblings and I are sharing caregiving duties for our...