In the run-up to the National Assembly for Wales elections in 2016, Carers Trust Wales is calling on all parties in Wales to listen to the voices of carers and ensure that Wales is a country that protects, promotes and recognises carers and the contribution that carers make. 

Not another election? 

If it seems like it was only last year we had an election, that’s because it was! The UK election in 2016 was important to people in Wales, however so is the National Assembly for Wales election taking place on 5 May 2016. Many of the things that matter most to carers are now the responsibility of the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales – issues such as how social care is funded, carers’ rights to assessment and support, and the involvement of the NHS in Wales in identifying and supporting carers.

Why does it matter?

There are at least 370,000 people in Wales caring, unpaid, for a friend or family member. That’s 12% of the population. Yet it has been an uphill struggle to make sure that carers get the recognition and support they need. The National Assembly for Wales election in 2016 is our opportunity to make carers’ voices heard by politicians across Wales, and to make sure that support for carers is higher on the agenda of the next Welsh Government. 

What are we asking for?

In October 2015, we published our manifesto Caring Wales: A manifesto to promote, protect and recognise all carers. A key part of our manifesto is our call for politicians and decision makers in Wales to commit to building a Caring Wales. 

To help deliver this, we outlined our four key areas where we think the lives of carers could be improved. 

 
1. Living, working and learning in Wales
 
We're calling for: 
  • Better access to part-time and flexible education for carers
  • A campaign to promote uptake of Carer's Allowance
  • For the Government to promote flexible working policies
2. Investing in carers, investing to save
 
We're calling for:
  • A national Carer Well-being Fund to provide short breaks to carers across Wales
  • A stronger voice for carers in Government through the creation of a Minister for Carers
  • Continued and improved support for carers in managing medicines
3. A Road Less Rocky - support for carers of people with dementia
 
We're calling for:
  • A national approach and commitment to involving carers in the treatment of people with dementia
  • Better access to wards for carers of people with dementia
4. A better deal for young and young adult carers
 
We're calling for:
  • Young carer ID to help break down barriers for carers in education
  • National commitment to identifying and counting carers in education in Wales
  • Extending the Pupil Deprivation Grant to young carers

Get involved

We want carers across Wales to make their voices heard. The I'm a Carer campaign is our effort to show the world that carers are not a single distinct group or just one type of person, but that carers are people with lives, jobs, responsibilities, dreams and ambitions just like everyone else.

Whether you're a carer, someone who works with carers or someone who receives care from a friend or family member, there many ways to get involved and make sure that your voice is heard in the run-up to the election.

Email the candidates

Ask the candidates standing in your area to support carers and call for a Caring Wales. You can use this tool to email all the candidates in your area. All you need to do is enter your name, email and postcode and we’ll take care of the rest. If you want to amend the default email, you’re also able to do so.

Share your story

We want to hear your story. Tell us about your experience of caring, like those below, either on social media using the hashtag #ImaCarer or by emailing us. We’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so whichever one you feel most comfortable with, get in touch.

Post on Twitter

If you’re on Twitter, you can share one of the example tweets below to express your support for a Caring Wales. 

You can also tweet your local candidates asking them to support a #CaringWales.

You can also add a Twibbon to your profile to show your support for carers in Wales.