Young carers lobby Senedd members

Posted on: Friday 24 November 2023
Young carers

A group of young carers have met with local Member of Senedd Lynne Neagle to discuss the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. 

The children and young people met with Ms Neagle at Mount Pleasant Hall, in Cwmbran, as part of Carers Rights Day, which aims to raise awareness of their rights as carers and support available.. 

Some of the challenges they face include lack of public awareness of their caring roles and the impact this has on their wellbeing.

One issue identified by carers attending college is the risk of them not receiving their Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) payment, if they fail to attend lectures as a result of their caring duties.

During the meeting with Ms Neagle and Torfaen Council Chief Executive Stephen Vickers, the young carers outlined the improvements they would like to see, which they hope will be raised and debated at the Senedd.

Next month, they will also get to visit the Senedd for a tour of the building and to discuss their concerns and aspirations with more politicians.

One of the young carers, 16 year old Meredith Lloyd-Tolman who carers for her siblings with ASD said “I think it's really important that we invited a Senedd member and council executive to our meeting, as they have influence that can help us get our voices heard."

16-year-old Izzy Pritchard, who cares for her mother and grandfather said: “As young carers, we have right to voice our opinions to those in authority in hope that they can help us bring about positive change."

The young carers were supported by representatives from Torfaen Council's Young Carers Service, who also arranged for a group of young carers to design and create T-shirts to mark Carers Rights Day. 

Young carers are typically aged between 6 and 17 and provide unpaid care for a family member or friend who is ill, disabled, has a mental health condition or a substance misuse problem. 

They often juggle their caring responsibilities with school, work and social life, which can have a negative impact on their health, education and wellbeing.

Torfaen Young Carers service work in in partnership with Torfaen Youth Service and Torfaen Play to provide information, advice and support to young carers in the area, as well as activities, events and groups, trips, workshops, counselling and respite breaks.

The service also works with education, health and social care services to raise awareness and recognition of young carers and their needs.

Torfaen Council Executive Member for Social Care and Health, Councillor David Daniels, said: "It is impossible not to be immediately stopped in your tracks when you hear the challenges many young carers face, and the impact it has on their wellbeing.  

"I was incredibly pleased to be able to join our young carers as they met with Lynne Neagle MS and Torfaen’s Chief Executive, Stephen Vickers, to discuss their experiences of what it means to be a young carer. 

"It's absolutely crucial that young carers' voices are heard by the people with the means to make a real, tangible difference to their lives, so this opportunity to meet with Welsh Government on Carers Rights Day was very much welcomed."

For more information about support available to young carers, visit the Torfaen Council website.

Last Modified: 24/11/2023 Back to top