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Young Welsh carers receive praise

25th August 2005

Young carers from across Wales took time out of their busy lives looking after members of their family to have fun and take a break.

Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons was at the Young Carers' Festival in
Builth Wells today where he praised those young carers for their hard work.

The two-day event, organised by Powys Carers Service and supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, is designed to give carers well-deserved time off.

Dr Gibbons highlighted the efforts of the estimated 11,000 young carers under the age of 17 in Wales.

"Young carers work extremely hard in supporting members of their family," Dr Gibbons said.

"They can be caring for someone with a chronic illness, a physical or sensory impairment or mental health problems. Some young people are caring for more than one person.

"Around a quarter of young carers have their own problems to cope with.
These can range from not reaching their full potential at school to
feelings of isolation.

"They should not be expected to carry out inappropriate levels of caring because this can have a negative impact on their personal development.

"Through events like the Young Carers' Festival we will gain a greater understanding of the difficulties they face. Every carer faces different issues but if they are given the right help and support, both the young carer and their families will benefit. We are keen to see the health, social, education and voluntary sector working closer together to make sure we achieve this."