New campaign to stand up for thousands of young carers in North Wales

New campaign to stand up for thousands of young carers in North Wales
New campaign to stand up for thousands of young carers in North Wales

A NEW campaign will highlight the inspiring bravery and resilience of hundreds of young carers across North Wales.

There are up to 1,400 young carers identified in Wrexham, Conwy and Denbighshire alone, so ahead of Carers Rights Day (Thursday 24 November) – and to celebrate the strength of the many young people across the country caring of a loved one – WCD (Wrexham, Conwy Denbighshire) Young Carers have launched an appeal encouraging schools, colleges and communities to provide more support and understanding for the challenges they face every day.

Making Young Carers Count hopes to spark change in society and raise awareness of the issues affecting families in the region, encouraging more positive actions to help them lead happy, healthy lives with an equal chance to pursue and thrive in the careers they have chosen.

Funded by Carers Trust and led by coordinator Sally Duckers, the concept came from carers themselves and aims to unite community organisations, educators and health bodies to explore better ways to ensure support is available.

“I’ve worked with young carers for many years now and over time I’ve been able to see firsthand the pattern of challenges they face,” Sally said.

“That’s where the idea for the project came from, because so many people are unaware of these challenges, even in their schools and communities.

“And when they do, the child’s situation is greeted with sympathy, when in fact they are some of the most talented, resilient and strong characters you can ever meet.

“Because they are carers, sometimes there are barriers that prevent them from having the same opportunities as others their age, so more needs to be done to prevent this from happening in the future. ”

WCD Young Carers provides direct support to over 850 children through clubs, travel and one-on-one support, and with the potential for one in five high school students under the age of 18 helping to care for a family member who has an illness, disability, or is affected by poor mental health or substance abuse – according to a BBC investigation – the campaign is more vital than ever.

Acknowledgment and support of young carers is essential as figures revealed by Carers Trust showed educational attainment significantly below GCSE level, 42% feeling ‘always’ or ‘usually’ stressed, and more than half ‘not very often” or “never” get help from school or college to balance their studies and family life.

With the Social Services and Welfare Act 2014, the Welsh Government’s Charter for Unpaid Carers 2022 and Estyn’s thematic report on providing young carers in schools reinforcing all of her messages, Sally says that There is an opportunity for stakeholders to find positive solutions for this generation and future generations.

“Schools often want to help, but there are other demands on their day-to-day time,” she added.

“The project wants to co-produce a set of resources that can be used to confidently raise awareness, as well as encourage teachers, staff, parents. and the students themselves to become champions, mentors and ambassadors for young carers.

“The Welsh Government Young Carers Identity Card launched during lockdown has helped identify young carers but there is still work to be done which is why we need those who can make a difference to join our country.”

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