Vale of Glamorgan Council highlights work done by young carers
09 March 2017
THE Vale of Glamorgan Council is highlighting the work done with young carers to raise awareness of the demands placed on such individuals within the County.
Some youngsters have to care for loved ones while also juggling school and personal commitments.
There are around 1, 800 children and young adults living within the Vale that find themselves in this type of situation.
The Council works in partnership with organisations like the YMCA to offer young carers support to carry out all duties in their often hectic lives.
Seventeen-year-old Britney Curtis from Dinas Powys helps care for several members of her family, including her youngest sibling who has a genetic condition and Mum who has arthritis and a back condition.
Her dad is also now struggling with a serious back problem, so Britney must assist with a range of household chores.
To allow her a break, she attends a young carers youth club once a week and has also been away on respite days with the group.
“I look after my mother and father as well as my little sister,” said Britney.
“My mum has arthritis in her hips and also trouble with her back. It’s the same for my dad, but he also has a shattered spine.
“It means I have to help with things like cleaning, doing the washing and bathing my siblings. I didn’t used to think that was different to anyone else. I thought it was normal.
“That can make it tough to do homework so I have to stay in school until 6.30 on a Friday to try and catch up.
“I used to find it really hard, but my sister’s 13 now so she is able to help me out quite a bit and I can go out more than I used to.
“I’ve been looking after my mum since I was about 12 and it’s a really big responsibility. I used to get judged a lot and I lost a lot of friends because I couldn’t go out and see them.
“I’ve been going to the young carers youth club for about two years now and I’ve made lots of friends there. It’s nice to talk to people who know what you’re going through because they’re dealing with the same stuff.
“I’ve been away for lots of day trips with the group and it’s great to have a break.”
As well as directing young carers towards support groups available, the Vale Council also helps them access online support and undergo relevant training in an effort to make their lives easier.