Young Carers meet with members of the Senedd to mark Carers Week in Wales
As a part of our series of events marking Carers Week, members of the Carers Trust Wales youth council were invited to spend the day at the Senedd, meeting with Members of the Senedd to discuss their experiences of caring, and share their stories.
The event was sponsored by Jayne Bryant, Welsh Labour member for Newport West, who noted in her introductory speech the importance of uplifting unpaid carer voices. Speaking to the young carers present, she stated that “you are the experts” and that Members were “there to listen”.
Newly appointed Director for Carers Trust Wales, Kate Cubbage, also welcomed the attendees with a reminder of the value of unpaid carer voices, and the need to mobilise effective change to increase support in education settings. “Now is the time to take action. Young carers have been telling us, for over a decade, that the support they receive in schools isn’t allowing them to thrive and achieve their potential. We can’t afford to not to act on this.”
Welsh Youth Parliament representative for Carers Trust Wales, Oliver Mallin, noted that caring responsibilities often impacted his ability to perform well in school; “School has always been hard for me, teachers haven’t always been understanding or willing to understand in my experience”. Other young carers resent also spoke at length of their struggles to receive support in school with Senedd Members. As a key topic for discussion on Young Carers Action Day, support for young carers in schools has carried over into Carers Week, with many young carers viewing the week as an ample time to raise awareness amongst leadership.
The session was attended by a number of Senedd members with a vested interest in improving the lives of young carers, including members of the Children, Young People and Education Committee and Conservative shadow minister for education, Laura Anne Jones, and the Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Children and young people, Heledd Fychan. With representation across parties, young carers were able to meet with members from all sides of the political spectrum.
Attendees were also able to view the newly launched short film, released by Carers Trust Wales on Young Carers Action Day. It details the stories and experiences of young carers from across Wales, as well as the changes they would like to see to receive more support for their caring roles, particularly in education settings. Watch the short film in English and Welsh here.
Carers Week continues until the 11th of June, with a wide range of activities and publications delivered throughout the week. Find out how to be a part of Carers Week here.