The first ever festival for young carers in Wales is taking place this week (23-25 August).
Funded by Welsh Government, the three day festival in Builth Wells is the first of its kind in Wales to offer young carers a break from caring responsibilities and the chance to socialise and share their experiences with other young carers.
Almost 300 young carers and young adult carers are attending the festival from across Wales and will enjoy a range of activities including sports, silent discos and arts and crafts.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan visited the festival and met with some of the young carers to find out first hand why events like this make such a difference.
The festival will also offer young carers the chance to hear about the Young Carers ID Card and how to apply for it. The national ID Card provides young carers with a quick way to inform teachers, supermarket staff, pharmacies or their GP surgery, that they look after someone. It can also help them access their rights under our Social Services and Well-being Wales Act 2014.
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
It was fantastic to see the festival in full swing, hear from young carers and see them enjoying themselves. They all deserve a break from their caring responsibilities and to have fun.
I have championed all unpaid carers in Wales throughout my time in government and worked hard to put schemes and initiatives in place to support them. Even before the pandemic started, we knew young carers and young adult carers faced enormous pressures whilst caring for someone. For too many the anxiety, stress and sense of isolation even when amongst friends, has negatively impacted their wellbeing.
Together we can all deliver better support and recognition for young carers throughout Wales. I hope this festival was one way we can show our appreciation to our young carers.
Melanie Rees, Wales Young Carers Festival Coordinator said:
The Wales Young Carers' Festival 2022 is new and exciting, now putting Wales on par with Scotland and England who have had their own festivals for many years.
The event at the Builth Wells Showground will be attended by 300 young carers aged 12-18 from all over Wales, representing nineteen counties.
Held over 3 days and 2 nights, it will not only provide an essential break from caring (something which is always needed, but never more so than because of COVID), it is also a unique opportunity for them to meet others in similar situations, make friends, have fun, try new things, relax and just be children!
Credu are delighted that Welsh Government are so generously supporting the festival and it is envisaged that going forward, it will hopefully be an annual event for young carers in Wales.