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Carers Trust survey reveals devastating double whammy in Wales of cost-of-living crisis and increasing intensity of caring responsibilities on children and young adults

“I wouldn’t say that my caring role impacts my life; I would say that it is my life.” (Welsh young carer)

·       56% of respondents to Carers Trust survey say the cost-of-living crisis is always or usually hitting them and their family

·       32% say they always or usually face additional costs because they are a carer

·       56% say the time they spend caring has increased in the past year

·       47% are now caring for more people than they used to

A new Carers Trust survey released today (9th March) shows the devastating double whammy of the cost-of-living crisis and the increasing intensity of caring responsibilities shouldered by children and young people providing unpaid care to family members.

The report, released a week ahead of Young Carers Action Day (15 March), an annual event led and organised by national charity Carers Trust, aims to raise awareness of the devastating impact on young people of fulfilling their caring role without sufficient support from the state.

The UK-wide survey of 1,109 young carers (aged under 18) and young adult carers (aged 18-25) showed alarming findings, with many young people contributing to or managing the family finances. The survey found that 32% said they always or usually face additional costs because they are a carer. 57% said that they always or usually worry about the cost of living and things becoming more expensive, and 56% said the cost-of-living crisis is always or usually affecting them and their family.  

One young adult told the survey: “I’d love to have kid problems. Instead, I’m saving up to try and pay our rent and to see if I can squeeze in some food at the end of it.”  

The survey also found a significant intensification of their caring role. In total, 56% said the time they spend caring has increased in the last year and 47% said they now care for more people than they used to.  More than half (51%) of those surveyed report caring for between 20 and 49 hours, while also balancing their studies, work and lives outside of caring. 

This chimes with latest census data in Wales which showed the proportion of young carers and young adult carers providing 20 hours’ or more care a week has markedly increased.

One young adult told the survey: “Caring never stops. Especially when it’s time to sleep, your brain constantly worries about how tomorrow will be, hospital appointments, money etc. It’s in overdrive.” 

Time spent caring hits education and wellbeing

Young carers in Wales told us that support for their mental health and wellbeing, particularly in school settings, continues to be the change they want to see brought about by professionals and decision makers.

In terms of education, 40% of young carers said that they never or do not often get help in school, college or university to balance caring and education work, with a third of overall respondents saying they usually or always struggle with that balance. They also report a lack of support from schools, with 28% saying there is ‘not often’ or ‘never’ someone at their school, college or university who understands about them being a carer.

For those who work, 45% ‘always’ or ‘usually’ struggle to balance caring with paid work.

One young adult said: “There is a lot of pressure on me, to the detriment of my own health, wellbeing, success, happiness and future.”

The findings suggest these pressures are having a devastating effect on mental health. Many struggle with emotional wellbeing and feel stressed, overwhelmed or drained. The survey revealed that 44% ‘always’ or ‘usually’ feel stressed.

Illustrating the overwhelming nature of being a young carer, one said: “You don’t get to have bad days. If you have a bad day, the whole house can fall into disarray. It’s exhausting and traumatic.” 

Among its recommendations, Carers Trust Wales is calling for:

·       All schools, colleges and universities to appoint a Young Carers Lead to support identification and support for young carers in education.

·       Young carers and young adult carers’ mental health and wellbeing to be prioritised in national planning.

·       Improved access to financial support for young carers and young adult carers by increasing Education Maintenance Allowance in Wales and extending Carer’s Allowance eligibility to unpaid carers in full-time education across the UK.

Carers Trust Wales Interim Director, Catrin Edwards, said:

“These concerning survey results, set against the backdrop of a bleak picture from the Census and the cost-of-living crisis, show us that young carers and young adult carers are caring for greater numbers of hours and that this is taking its toll on their mental health and wellbeing. This shouldn’t be the case in modern day Wales where we pride ourselves on championing children’s rights and promoting opportunities for all, no matter what our backgrounds.

“However, young carers and young adult carers are clear they need greater support, and urgently, in school with their education and with their wellbeing. Welsh Government must respond at pace to ensure that young carers, and the organisations that support them, have the resource and opportunity to be children and young people first and foremost.”


Arolwg newydd yr Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr yn datgelu ergyd ddwbl enbyd o argyfwng cost-byw a dwyster cynyddol cyfrifoldebau gofalu ar blant ac oedolion ifanc

“Fyddwn i ddim yn dweud bod fy rôl gofalu yn effeithio ar fy mywyd; Byddwn i'n dweud mai dyma fy mywyd.” (Gofalydd ifanc o Gymru)

·       Dywedodd 56% o’r ymatebwyr i arolwg yr Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr fod yr argyfwng costau byw bob amser neu fel arfer yn eu taro nhw a’u teulu

·       Dywed 32% eu bod bob amser neu fel arfer yn wynebu costau ychwanegol oherwydd eu bod yn ofalydd

·       Dywed 56% fod yr amser y maent yn ei dreulio yn gofalu wedi cynyddu yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf

·       Mae 47% bellach yn gofalu am fwy o bobl nag yr oeddent yn arfer gwneud

Mae arolwg newydd gan yr Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr a ryddhawyd heddiw (9fed Mawrth) yn dangos ergyd ddwbl enbyd yr argyfwng costau byw a dwyster cynyddol y cyfrifoldebau gofalu a ysgwyddir gan blant a phobl ifanc sy'n darparu gofal di-dâl i aelodau'r teulu.

Nod yr adroddiad, a ryddhawyd wythnos cyn Diwrnod Gweithredu Gofalwyr Ifanc  (YCAD) (15 Mawrth), digwyddiad blynyddol sy’n cael ei arwain a’i drefnu gan yr elusen genedlaethol Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr, yw codi ymwybyddiaeth o’r effaith ddinistriol ar bobl ifanc o gyflawni eu rôl ofalu heb gefnogaeth ddigonol gan y wladwriaeth.

Dangosodd arolwg y DU gyfan o 1,109 o ofalwyr ifanc (dan 18 oed) ac oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr (18-25 oed) ganfyddiadau brawychus, gyda llawer o bobl ifanc yn cyfrannu at neu’n rheoli cyllid y teulu. Canfu’r arolwg fod 32% yn dweud eu bod bob amser neu fel arfer yn wynebu costau ychwanegol oherwydd eu bod yn ofalydd. Dywedodd 57% eu bod bob amser neu fel arfer yn poeni am gostau byw a phethau'n dod yn ddrutach, a dywedodd 56% fod yr argyfwng costau byw bob amser neu fel arfer yn effeithio arnyn nhw a'u teulu.

Dywedodd un oedolyn ifanc wrth yr arolwg: “Byddwn i wrth fy modd yn cael problemau plant. Yn lle hynny, rwy’n cynilo i geisio talu ein rhent ac i weld a allaf wasgu rhywfaint o fwyd i mewn ar y diwedd.”

Canfu'r arolwg hefyd fod eu rôl ofalu wedi dwysáu'n sylweddol. Dywedodd cyfanswm o 56% fod yr amser y maent yn ei dreulio yn gofalu wedi cynyddu yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf a dywedodd 47% eu bod bellach yn gofalu am fwy o bobl nag yr oeddent yn arfer ei wneud. Dywedodd mwy na hanner (51%) y rhai a holwyd eu bod yn gofalu am rhwng 20 a 49 awr, tra hefyd yn cydbwyso eu hastudiaethau, gwaith a bywydau y tu allan i ofalu.

Mae hyn yn cyd-fynd â data cyfrifiad diweddaraf Cymru sy’n dangos bod cyfran y gofalwyr ifanc a’r oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr sy’n darparu 20 awr neu fwy o ofal yr wythnos wedi cynyddu’n sylweddol.

Dywedodd un oedolyn ifanc wrth yr arolwg: “Nid yw gofalu byth yn stopio. Yn enwedig pan mae'n amser cysgu, mae'ch ymennydd yn poeni'n gyson am sut fydd yfory, apwyntiadau ysbyty, arian ac ati.

Mae amser a dreulir yn gofalu yn taro addysg a lles

Dywedodd gofalwyr ifanc yng Nghymru wrthym fod cymorth ar gyfer eu hiechyd meddwl a’u lles, yn enwedig mewn lleoliadau ysgol, yn parhau i fod y newid y maent am ei weld gan weithwyr proffesiynol a gwneithurwyr penderfyniadau.

O ran addysg, dywedodd 40% o ofalwyr ifanc nad ydynt byth neu nad ydynt yn aml yn cael cymorth yn yr ysgol, coleg neu brifysgol i gydbwyso gwaith gofal ac addysg, gyda thraean o’r ymatebwyr yn gyffredinol yn dweud eu bod fel arfer neu bob amser yn cael trafferth gyda’r cydbwysedd hwnnw. Maen nhw hefyd yn adrodd diffyg cefnogaeth gan ysgolion, gyda 28% yn dweud nad oes ‘ddim yn aml’ neu ‘byth’ rhywun yn eu hysgol, coleg neu brifysgol sy’n deall eu bod nhw’n ofalydd.

I’r rhai sy’n gweithio, mae 45% ‘bob amser’ neu ‘fel arfer’ yn ei chael hi’n anodd cydbwyso gofalu â gwaith cyflogedig.

Dywedodd un oedolyn ifanc: “Mae llawer o bwysau arnaf, ar draul fy iechyd, lles, llwyddiant, hapusrwydd a dyfodol fy hun.”

Mae'r canfyddiadau'n awgrymu bod y pwysau hyn yn cael effaith ddinistriol ar iechyd meddwl. Mae llawer yn cael trafferth gyda lles emosiynol ac yn teimlo dan straen, wedi'u gorlethu neu'n flinedig. Datgelodd yr arolwg fod 44% ‘bob amser’ neu ‘fel arfer’ yn teimlo dan straen.

Gan ddangos natur aruthrol bod yn ofalydd ifanc, dywedodd un: “Nid ydych chi’n cael diwrnodau gwael. Os cewch ddiwrnod gwael, gall y tŷ cyfan fynd i anhrefn. Mae’n flinedig ac yn drawmatig.”

Ymhlith ei hargymhellion, mae Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr Cymru yn galw am:

·       Pob ysgol, coleg a phrifysgol i benodi Arweinydd Gofalwyr Ifanc i gefnogi adnabod a chefnogi gofalwyr ifanc mewn addysg.

·       Iechyd meddwl a lles gofalwyr ifanc ac oedolion ifanc i gael eu blaenoriaethu mewn cynllunio cenedlaethol.

·       Gwell mynediad at gymorth ariannol i ofalwyr ifanc ac oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr drwy gynyddu’r Lwfans Cynhaliaeth Addysg yng Nghymru ac ymestyn cymhwysedd Lwfans Gofalwr i ofalwyr di-dâl mewn addysg amser llawn ledled y DU.

Dywedodd Cyfarwyddwr Dros Dro Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr Cymru, Catrin Edwards:

“Mae’r canlyniadau arolwg hyn yn peri pryder, yn enwedig yng nghyddestun darlun llwm y Cyfrifiad a’r argyfwng costau byw, wrth ddangos fod gofalwyr ifanc ac oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr yn gofalu am fwy o oriau a bod hyn yn effeithio ar eu hiechyd meddwl a’u lles. Ni ddylai hyn fod yn wir yn y Gymru gyfoes lle rydym yn ymfalchïo mewn hyrwyddo hawliau plant a hyrwyddo cyfleoedd i bawb, waeth beth fo’u cefndir.

“Fodd bynnag, mae gofalwyr ifanc ac oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr yn glir bod angen mwy o gymorth arnynt, ac ar fyrder, yn yr ysgol gyda’u haddysg a’u lles. Rhaid i Lywodraeth Cymru ymateb yn gyflym i sicrhau bod gofalwyr ifanc, a’r sefydliadau sy’n eu cefnogi, yn cael yr adnoddau a’r cyfle i fod yn blant a phobl ifanc yn gyntaf ac yn bennaf.”


An embargoed copy of “Being a young carer is not a choice; it’s just what we do”, Carers Trust’s full report on the survey findings and a Wales briefing, is available on request.

For further information, and to arrange interviews with Carers Trust spokespeople and unpaid carer case studies, please contact: 

Catrin Edwards, cedwards@carers.org and 07791667005

Mark Chandler, mchandler@carers.org and 07712 427808

Spokespeople available:

Catrin Edwards, Interim Director, Carers Trust Wales (Welsh speaker)

Ollie Mallin, Young carer aged 17 from Bridgend, Member of the Welsh Youth Parliament

Sophie Rees, Young carer aged 17 from Llangynnwyd (Welsh speaker)

About Carers Trust

Carers Trust is the UK charity working to transform the lives of unpaid carers across the UK.  It partners with its network of local carer organisations to provide funding and support, deliver innovative and evidence-based programmes and raise awareness & influence policy.​ Carers Trust’s vision is that unpaid carers are heard and valued, with access to support, advice and resources to enable them to live fulfilled lives.

In Wales, our Network Partners delivering support to young carers and young adult carers are:

·       Bridgend Carers Centre

·       Carers Trust Crossroads North Wales

·       Carers Trust Crossroads West Wales

·       Credu

·       NEWCIS

·       Swansea Carers Centre

·       The Honeypot

·       WCD – young carers in Wrexham, Conwy and Denbighshire


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