Young carers in North Wales to get extra support in schools

Young carers in North Wales will be given extra support in schools, through The North Wales Young Carers project, following an award of £94,500 by the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The funding has been made to The Neumark Foundation, in a collaborative funding partnership, to support North Wales Young Carers in employing a Welsh-speaking bi-lingual education officer over three years.

The project is aimed at supporting school age children and young people, who have a caring role at home supporting a member of their household.

It has been estimated that well in excess of a million children in the UK, from as young as four and five years of age, could be involved with caring duties at home, as a result of medical conditions, mental health conditions, or addictions.

In the UK, research, led by world renowned young carer researcher, and Neumark Foundation trustee, Prof Saul Becker, indicates that 50% of young carers remain hidden, and at GCSE, they can be as much as nine grades below their peer group in achievement, as well as having far lower attendance rates.

The Neumark Foundation, founded in 2016 by retired businessman Peter Neumark, his wife Maria, and daughter Rebecca Prytherch, has solely funded this project, and two education officers, in Wrexham, Denbighshire and Conwy since 2020.

The concern was that young carers, who speak Welsh as their first language, were slipping through the net because of a lack of targeted support, led to discussions with Steve Morgan Foundation.

Rebecca Prytaherch

Rebecca Prytherch, CEO of The Neumark Foundation, said the grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation will change the lives of young carers for the better.

She said: “Our mission is to support charities, organisations and individuals with charitable projects, whose work has a long-lasting, positive effect on children and young people’s welfare and quality of life, by improving their prospects and life choices”

North Wales Young Carers currently support young carers in Wrexham, Denbighshire and Conwy, in three key areas, awareness raising and identification of young carers needing support, a focussed, unique, educational impact assessment providing schools with guidance on individual support, and school holiday respite programmes.

Its sister organisation, Cheshire Young Carers, has been supporting young carers for over 25 years.

Rebecca said: “It’s really important that children and young people have the opportunity for a good education, to enable them to reach their potential, allowing for their best quality of life.

“We know that caring for their loved ones is important to these children and young people, and so, through this intervention we want to ensure that they receive appropriate and effective support to reduce or remove negative effects on their education, that their caring may have, particularly those hidden young carers, who currently struggle alone, juggling their everyday lives, with their caring responsibilities.

“We know there are many rural households in North Wales, where Welsh is their first language, and we feel that young carers in these households will significantly benefit from a fluent Welsh-speaking education officer.

“Thanks to the support from Steve Morgan Foundation, recruitment is now under way.”

Jane Harris, director of regional grants at the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “All the evidence shows that the education of school age carers suffers and they miss out on some of the opportunities that their peers enjoy.  This funding will help target Welsh-speaking carers who might otherwise miss out on getting support.”

 

 

 

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