Huw Irranca Davies: Tackling Isolation for Young Carers in Ogmore

Wednesday 16th March 2022 is Young Carer’s Action Day. A chance to recognise the hard work and pressures that the UK’s young carer’s face on a daily basis.

This year’s theme, suggested by young carers is all about securing action to help address the isolation they experience as young and young adult carers.

The last two years of living in a pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but more so for young carers who, whilst dealing with their own isolation and fears, continued to help and support family members, friends and neighbours during extremely challenging times.

Across Ogmore we have many young carers who are caring for a sick or disabled family member, and many go unnoticed and unrecognised.  Our young carers are valued and extremely important for the work they do, and it is essential we ensure they and their families are supported as a whole.

Local support groups such as for ‘Carers Trust Wales’ continue to provide emotional and practical support for carers along with help and guidance. The fantastic work of these support groups can often provide a lifeline to isolated young carers who may not be aware of the full range of help available to them. I would encourage any young carers who are struggling, to get in touch with them, even if it is to chat and offload any worries they may have.

ID Cards for young carers can also be obtained via the local authority. The Card provides a quick way to inform teachers, pharmacists and GPs, staff in supermarkets, and community services such as leisure centres and local transport, that they look after someone.

It can also help them access their rights under the Social Services and Well-being Wales Act 2014, including their right to a carers’ needs assessment.

It is important that we continue to highlight the dedication and outstanding work of these unsung heroes across Ogmore. We must ensure they have the right support in place to give them a better chance of succeeding in all parts of their lives.

Thank you to the young carers who without their tireless work, our health and social care systems would not cope. And also, to the support workers, teachers, helpers and everyone involved in helping them live full and healthy lives.