This weekend, carers aged 16-25 have gathered in Llangrannog to make their voices heard and share their experiences of being in education or employment while caring for loved ones as part of Carers Trust Wales’ ‘Time to Be Heard’ campaign.
Carers Trust research has found that young adult carers are less likely to be identified and supported than other carers. Young adult carers also face a range of barriers when accessing education, employment or training. They are four times more likely to drop out of college or university, two and a half times more likely to be not in education employment education or training and have higher rates of poor mental and physical health than the average young person.
The Time to Be Heard Wales campaign seeks to change this by giving young adult carers an opportunity to make their views heard, and make it clear what challenges they face every day.
The start of this campaign will see 45 young adult carers come together from around Wales for a weekend at Llangranog, sharing their experiences and taking a much-needed break from their caring role. This is the biggest Wales-wide gathering of young adult carers to date and signals the start of the campaign, which aims to positively make a difference to the lives of young adult carers in Wales.
Young adult carers are making the journey to the residential for many reasons. Vickie, a 16-year old who cares for her mum and stepdad made it clear why the event was important to her, “I have found it hard to find time to study and do work, I am often tired and my teacher’s don’t really understand. I want to have a say and help influence the way support comes to carers, and make sure people understand that young adult carers need help.”
This sentiment was echoed by Luke, another Welsh 16 year-old who cares for his mum and sister, “my caring role can be very hard, I feel really tired and sometimes get up really late for school. I feel really worried when I’m in school as my mum collapses all the time.”
Simon Hatch, Director of Carers Trust Wales, said, “Young adult carers are under-identified and under-supported, they are in a period of transition not just from school to further education or employment, but also from children’s to adults’ services. This time of transition is difficult at the best of times, but with caring responsibilities, many young adult carers are placed in particularly challenging circumstances.
“That’s why we’re pleased to launch Time to Be Heard Wales and host a residential for young adult carers across Wales, it is time that we listened to young adult carers’ voices, recognised the challenges they face in participating in education and employment, and committed to giving these young people the support they need to succeed.”
For more information please get in touch with Kieron Rees on 07824 567813 or KRees@carers.org.