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Young Carers Board
Young Carers Board
  • Category: Participation

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Organisation: YMCA Swansea

Project name: Young Carers Board

Youth Leader: Egija Cinovska




The Young Carers Board is a group of Young Carers that work with YMCA at all levels, funders and policy makers, to help shape the Young Carers Service in Swansea.

YMCA Swansea Young Carers Service hosts regular consultations with young people to ensure the services provided are shaped by them and meet their needs appropriately.

Through the feedback gathered Young carers have stated that having a specific platform to carry out these tasks would be beneficial.

YMCA Swansea shared the idea to the Young Carers and encouraged them to put themselves forward if they wished to become a member of YMCA Swansea Young Carers Board.

A large number of young people applied for the opportunity. If shortlisted to the interview stage, young people had to develop presentations on their ideas that focused on numerous different topics. They participated in fun interviews and young people were scored on their passion and commitment to represent their community.

The Young carers meet monthly to put together ideas on how to shape the service, discuss young carers needs and what support should be added and/or changed to support them. Young carers are involved in planning workshops, trips and activities for YMCA Swansea as well as working with external organisations such as funders and schools to support young carers in different settings.

The Young Carers Board meets once a month, face-to-face as well as engage with each other regularly on a specific Young Carers Board Facebook Group.

Each month the group are joined by key professionals and policy makers that are working with the group to help write a Carers Strategy for Swansea

The Young Carers board have taken on numerous projects over the last 6 months and the Facebook Group is proving to be quite useful for them to keep each other up to date, with what tasks, roles and responsibilities they have completed. It also enables face-to-face meetings to be more productive in focusing on making new plans and actions.

Key lessons learnt include the accessibility of the monthly sessions. Initially the group planned to meet face to face in YMCA Swansea to take part in the meetings. However, due to the pandemic restrictions and young carers availability the group decided to provide blended access to participate in the sessions, young carers are able to attend face to face or join in online.
Another lesson learnt included extending the monthly meeting times. Originally young carers agreed to meet for an hour, although due to the in-depth discussions young people were having, it was agreed that the duration of the sessions needed to be extended.

Young carers have also suggested hosting annual/ bi-annual residential or away days with the groups to provide them with opportunities to build better relationships between group members, work on team building skills, and have more time to plan the future service.

YMCA Swansea Young Carers Board provides an opportunity for young carers to shape the service, have a voice on the services that directly benefit them as well as represent their peers, ensuring all young carer’s voices are heard.

Young carers are involved in shaping the service, planning workshops and activities for all projects within the young carer’s service. Young carers also have the opportunity to meet with the funders directly to provide feedback on what has worked and what support they would benefit from in the future.

Young carers have worked in partnership with local key policy makers to be involved in shaping Swansea Local Authority Carers Strategy, this has been a fantastic opportunity for young carers to shape the future services for all young carers in Swansea. They have also been involved in conversations with West Glamorgan Partnership board and feel they now are receiving the recognition they deserve.

Young carers have been able to participate in different training opportunities to develop their skills while being a member of the board, this has included Agored Cymru accredited training in Understanding Young Carers Awareness, First Aid and Film Making.
Young carers have learnt skills from participating in activities to raise awareness on young carers in their communities, through recording podcasts, filming videos, taking part in delivering PSE lessons in schools and setting up lunchtime clubs.
There have been many benefits to YMCA Swansea working with the Young Carers Board. It allows us to keep up to date with the needs of the group. Working in partnership with young people has meant that they have complete ownership over how their services are developed.

Young people have been able to help us plan and deliver a new bespoke weekend service, residential work, podcasts and events that help raise awareness of young carers.

Staff have felt they have more of an insight to how young carers are feeling about the service and what their aspirations are going forward. When staff attend meetings, to advocate on behalf of young carers, they feel they are able to truly represent young people's voices.

YMCA Swansea Young Carers Board members host regular discussions to ensure that the service provides and inclusive and equality of service for young carers to access the service.

One of the main topics that young people raise as an issue is transport. In order for young carers to attend face-to-face activities, transport can be a huge barrier. YMCA Swansea provides transport for all young carers to ensure them and their families can access the service.

Young Carers Board members recognise the importance of celebrating Welsh language and Culture. This has led to YMCA Swansea creating content to raise awareness on Young Carers in the medium of English and Welsh.

YMCA Swansea Young Carers Board is currently in its first year, based on the feedback provided by young carers, the board has made a positive impact on young carers directly and provided a quality service for the service members.

The board has been successful and made a real impact in how things are being developed for young carers from the very beginning. YMCA Swansea Young Carers board hopes to continue its work and grow to ensure young carers are identified, recognised and receive the service they deserve.

I am a Young Carer - YouTube

YMCA Young Carers - YouTube

Stream Everyday Young Carers music | Listen to songs, albums, playlists for free on SoundCloud

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