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Young carer support services in Bridgend adapted during pandemic

Bridgend County Borough Council has adapted the way it supports young carers during the coronavirus pandemic by working with a range of partners.

Young carers can now receive their statutory assessment virtually, for example a video or telephone call, depending on their preference. This helps to identify any support that is required.

Some have taken part in virtual cinema gatherings and book clubs, as well as exercise and mindfulness sessions. Others have also participated in virtual cookery sessions.

Work was carried out at the start of the pandemic to support some retailers to understand the role of a young carer, and help them to recognise the Bridgend Young Carers ID card should one be presented to them.

In addition, grants of up to £250 have been made available through Action for Children’s Young Carers support project as well as grants of up to £300 through the council’s commissioned Carers Wellbeing service to support young carers during the pandemic.

The council was also able to secure 20 Chromebooks and 12 months of internet usage by working with the Wales Co-operative Centre and these are being distributed to eligible young carers throughout the county borough.

Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Cllr Nicole Burnett: “The council is very proud to support young carers in our communities and a lot of work has been carried out to adapt services during the pandemic.

“The young carers support service, provided by Action for Children, offers activities around emotional resilience, one-to-one and group work, life skills, healthy eating and building positive relationships. The support is bespoke to the individual and works to address needs that are identified through the young carer assessment.

“Education support is also provided to those aged five to 25 through the Young Carers in Schools Project via Bridgend Carers Centre. Young Carers Champions in comprehensive schools and colleges support all staff to recognise, support and refer young carers to services.

“A Young Carers Teen Group for those aged 13 to 17 and a Young Adult Carers Group for those aged 16 to 25 meet monthly and give members a break from their caring role and an opportunity to meet others in a similar position.”

Any youngsters who have recently become a carer as a result of the pandemic or who are not known to the council can call our Young Carers Co-ordinator Lisa Pritchard on 01656 642413 or email [email protected].