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Swansea’s young adult carers given a helping hand by gas network company

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A voluntary organisation which regularly supports more than 50 of Swansea’s young adult carers has been given a helping hand thanks to gas network company, Wales and West Utilities.

With young adult carers reporting that they’re under pressure due to the worry about keeping their vulnerable family members safe from coronavirus, while still trying to catch up on their education, Swansea Carers Centre has received a £4,976 funding boost to help youngsters with the transition.

Swansea Carers Centre, which supports young adult carers aged between 16-25, has adapted its services during the pandemic – moving from group face-to-face youth support to online and 1-2-1 services following an increase in the needs of carers.

Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive, Graham Edwards said: “The Safe and Warm Fund was designed to directly help those working in communities, targeting support at those who need it most.

“We are delighted that the fund will now support so many organisations across our operating area, who like Swansea Carer’s Centre, are helping local communities respond to Coronavirus.

“Seeing communities come together to face the challenge of Coronavirus has been fantastic – and everyone at Wales & West Utilities is excited to see these projects come to life and how they will make a positive impact on the lives of people most in need.”

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The organisation, based on Mansel Street in the city centre, received the money from Wales & West Utilities Safe and Warm Fund. It has allowed them to provide emergency grants to young adult carers in financial need, as well as delivering wellbeing packs to all individuals it supports.

Alexandra Atkins, Young Adult Carers Project Coordinator at Swansea Carers Centre said: “We’ve worked for many years to help young adult carers across the city, but the coronavirus pandemic has hit our carers particularly hard.

“Most of them have been shielding alongside their family members and are struggling with now trying to resume some kind of normality. Their worries are not necessarily about contracting the illness, but about protecting their loved ones.

“We know first-hand how much our young adult carers are struggling with adapting in these uncertain times, but this money has been fantastic in helping us to fill a void. It’s allowed us to adapt our services to ensure that our young people don’t get left in the cold, at a time when they need our support more than ever.

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“The money has allowed us to provide financial grants to young adult carers who are struggling financially so that they can buy household items that have broken such as washing machines and tumble dryers. We’ve also developed wellbeing packs, and these have been distributed and gratefully received by young adult carers across our network. 

“On behalf of everyone we support I’d like to say thank you to Wales & West Utilities for this money. Without it, we’d be in a very different situation and I know just how grateful our carers are.”

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Swansea Carers Centre is a specialist voluntary organisation providing support to carers and former carers across Swansea. It supports people who care for those with an illness or disability including learning disability, mental health problems, physical disability, dementia, and other long-term limiting illnesses.

Wales & West Utilities set up the Safe and Warm Fund to help organisations and charities directly respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The gas emergency and pipeline service has been working hard throughout the pandemic to make sure people are kept safe and warm in their homes and opened the fund to help others in communities across Wales and the south west of England do the same.

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(Lead image: Wales and West Utilities)


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