Between September and November 2021, young people from Ceredigion Young Carers Service created a new project in partnership with Arad Goch, Ceredigion Youth Service, Action for Children and Ceredigion County Council’s Carers Unit. The young people alongside these organisations worked together to create a short film in a bid to educate and raise awareness of what it means to be a Young Carer.
Carers Trust UK defines a Young Carer as "someone under the age of 18 who helps care for someone in their family, or friend, who is ill, disabled, has a mental health condition or has a drug or alcohol addiction.” Social Care Wales states that there are around 30,000 carers under the age of 25 in Wales, and being a Young Carer can include responsibilities such as; practical tasks like cooking, cleaning and shopping, personal care like helping someone get out of bed, collecting medication or looking after brothers or sisters.
The young people worked with Arad Goch to create a story and script, and filmed scenes in and around Aberystwyth, before editing the footage to create a short film, focusing on ‘What does it mean to be a Young Carer?’ which will be launched in 2022.
The film was produced by young people under the guidance of local theatre company, Arad Goch. The project was also supported by local drama pupils, who took part in the production as young actors. The film follows the journey of a young person who has caring responsibilities, with the aim of educating and raising awareness of the topic.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all of the planning was done virtually. We hope to organise a virtual launch for the film early in the new year.
Carwyn Blayney, director of the film said, “The project was very ambitious, especially trying to film so much material in one day, but all the Young Carers, and the young actors involved in the project were absolutely brilliant. We had a great day filming - a full day, with all the young people dealing with the workload brilliantly. The Young Carers were very good at sharing ideas on our teams meetings in the months leading up to the filming day, and very patient as we tried to organise a project in the midst of a pandemic. A really talented bunch of young people!”
Catherine Hughes, Carers Champion and Cabinet Member for Porth Ceredigion, Early Intervention, Well-being Hubs and Culture said, “Being a Young Carer can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up, and the responsibilities of Young Carers vary greatly. It is very important that we raise awareness and develop our understanding of Young Carers at every possible opportunity, and this short film is a fantastic way of helping to do this. Congratulations to the young people involved in this project and for creating such a powerful film that will be launched this year.”
To learn more about the support available to Young Carers in Ceredigion, visit https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/social-care-wellbeing/support-for-carers/young-carers/.
To learn more about the work of Action for Children, visit; www.afcwestwales.co.uk or visit their Facebook page @Ceredigionyoungcarersafc.
For more information about the work of Arad Goch Theatre Company, visit their website: https://aradgoch.cymru/?lang=en.
For more information about the work of Ceredigion Youth Service, visit their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page @GICeredigionYS or visit their website at www.giceredigionys.co.uk.