Young and adult carers inspire Powys councillors to champion their cause
3 April 2023
- Helping raise awareness of the 35,000 people of all ages across Powys who are looking after loved ones with ill health or disability.
- Valuing carers of all ages; they can be so invisible, yet they provide 96% of care in our communities, worth over £8 billion to the Welsh economy.
- Considering and collaborating with young and adult carers in making decisions and developing policies on health and social care.
- Inviting others in their area to support, value and respect young and adult carers, such a local schools, services and community groups.
Cllr Sian Cox, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care said: "'I thought I couldn't become more impressed by Credu and the unpaid young and adult carers they work with, but I was wrong; today they sent my admiration and respect for them to new heights.
"Their presentation was fascinating, moving, funny, inspiring and humbling. These are some of the busiest people in the county, for whom time is full to the brim with responsibilities, but they came to County Hall to tell us not only about their lives and challenges, but also about the creative, imaginative and collaborative ways in which they strive to help other carers. I urge everyone to become unpaid carer-aware; be assured that they are in your community, probably under the radar, delivering a volume of care and support that no local authority could ever match; and your recognition of them, and your acknowledgement of the enormous service they provide to society, would mean a great deal to them."
Hayley Pugh, parent carer and now also Respite Co-ordinator from Credu, said: "Amazing day! So proud of our carers and all the councillors that are joining up to champion Credu and carers. It's amazing what can happen when people come together and truly listen. Watch this space - exciting times!"
The presentation was skilfully chaired by carer, Kim Spelman, who, like Hayley was delighted with how intently and respectfully the councillors listened to the carers, and the spirit of collaboration and commitment that followed.
Emily Bleakley, 18, from Newtown described looking after her mother when she was 14 who was terminally ill and her brother with autism. She described how tough it has been, how important support is and how difficult it is to decide whether or not to go to university when you have caring responsibilities. You can hear more from Emily on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-PKZtjNmKc
Meiriona Davies, 82, from Ystradgynlais, described her life journey as a young carer for her mother from the age of seven, and now a parent carer for her adult daughter with autism and cerebral palsy as well as her husband, a stroke survivor. Meiriona, active in supporting other carers in her local community, explained how there are so many silent carers; invisible and isolated.
Elizabeth James, 85, from Llandrindod described looking after her daughter with learning difficulties; still getting up in the night to comfort her when she is anxious. Elizabeth and her husband were farmers. They never claimed Carers Allowance or benefits they were entitled to, because they could manage off the income of the farm. However when Elizabeth was widowed and finances got tight, she was not entitled to any financial support. Carers Allowance or additional financial support is not available to people on a pension.
Another older carer, Christine Jenkins, from Ystradgynlais, described looking after her husband with dementia through lockdown along with the isolation and the challenges she experienced. Both Christine and Elizabeth feel very passionately about accessible, regular and day care as a way of supporting people needing care and their families.
Laura Hares, a parent carer from Welshpool, described her own caring journey for her son and how, like so many others, she didn't realise that she was a carer. She also described how she and other carers from Welshpool have found finding paid care workers, to help make caring manageable, a huge challenge. This is a symptom of the social care crisis of the day across the country. However, Laura also explained how she is now coming together with other carers to develop a new model of community-based day care and social care workforce development.
If you look after someone or you would like to champion young or adult carers in your community or organisation in Mid Wales, please do contact Credu. We would love to hear from you: 01597 823800 / email@example.com