Swansea Museum Collection
Board Game, cardboard, ink, plastic, and wood. ‘I care – do you’?. Board game, produced by Swansea Young Carers as part of an ABMU (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board) funded project to raise awareness of issues facing young carers. Used by Swansea Museum Education team as part of ‘Eye of the Storm’ activities in 2017. Game consists of board, 4 counters, dice, two packs of pick-up cards, one blue pack and one white with instruction sheets. The aim of the game is to raise awareness about young people carers; their lives and the issues they face on a day to day basis. The objective of the game is to go through the game on either the path of the young carer or the path of the young person, each step is another aspect of each of their lives. The ‘pick up’ cards are uncontrollable events that either have a positive or negative outcome for each player.
`Eye of the Storm’ is a musical theatre production by Theatre na Nog, a production company based in Neath. The production, aimed at schools, revolved around a female young carer who dreams of becoming a scientist. Each autumn the performances are held in the Dylan Thomas Theatre along with workshops in Swansea Museum and the National Waterfront. The productions are usually set in a historic period but this production was present day.
In developing the storyline Theatre na Nog consulted with the same group of young carers who later would produce the game.
In a previous life, I was a children’s rights worker, specialising in involving children in decision making processes and consultations. In 1993 to 1995 I was part of the team that co-ordinated the voluntary sector report to the United Nations on the UK Government implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (or to be more accurate how the UK Government was failing to implement it).
Young carers groups were few and far between at that point, but I do recall the main fear of young carers was a worry that if they asked for support from anywhere official, they may end up being taken into care. As a result it was at the time still a hidden problem and a there was a lack of awareness.
There has been a considerable amount of progress since then but still a long way to go. Recent data shows that there are approximately 800,000 Young Carers aged 5-17 in the UK and research by the Children’s Society suggests that 1 in 5 secondary school students are providing some care in their home, with a third of these providing high levels of care.
YMCA Swansea Young Carers project is a bespoke provision that increases young carer’s resilience towards their caring role and improves their health and well-being.
Young carers participating in the project are under 18 and care for someone affected by; a long-term illness, physical disability, mental health illness or substance and alcohol use.
Young carers are unlikely to have opportunities that other young people may have. So the project gives young carers opportunities in a safe environment, where they are encouraged to be young people, have fun, make friends, relax and focus on themselves.
Young carers miss out on a lot of experiences and life opportunities due to their caring responsibilities and so the young carers project provides vital support and services that aim to reduce the barriers to young carer’s development.
The difference that is witnessed and is evident in young people from participating in this project is truly inspirational and the transformational changes in young people has an overall impact for the entire family.
Commissioned to deliver the Young Carers Service in Swansea on behalf of City and county of Swansea, YMCA Swansea is providing tailored support to young carers between the ages of 8-18. This includes face to face, online, one to one, and group sessions, as well as trips, activities, advocacy, and signposting.
YMCA Swansea recently launched 4 new programmes on National Young Carers Action Day:
• National Young Carers I.D Card Scheme
• Online PSE Sessions
• ‘Understanding Young Carers’ – Agored Cymru Accredited Qualifications
• Young Carers Awareness Animation Films
The National Young Carers I.D Card scheme is led by Welsh Government, Carers Trust Wales, Local Authorities, and Professional Bodies across Wales.
YMCA Swansea & Swansea Council have been selected by Welsh Government as an early adopter, of the Young Carers Card scheme in Wales.
The Young Carers Service is funded by City and County of Swansea, Children in Need, Waterloo Foundation and Swansea Bay University Health Board Integrated Care Fund.