‘Care’philly News - Edition 20, February 2024


Some of you may already be aware that Gill Cleaton, one of our dedicated Young Carers Support Workers, is now enjoying well-deserved retirement, but we are delighted to welcome Becky Forward to the team. 

Here is a little bit about Becky, in her own words:

"Hi, my name’s Becky and I’m due to start in the team at the beginning of February.  I’m so excited to get going with my new role and help and support people who care for others.  My background is that I’ve worked for Caerphilly Council for almost 26 years in both Children’s Services and more recently the mental health team in adult services.  I was a carer for my dad who suffered from Dementia before sadly passing away from its effects in September 2020.  Whilst I was aware of dementia before his diagnosis, I didn’t realise the impact it had upon the sufferer and the family.

A bit about me…I’m married and I'm a mum to one daughter and one cockapoo dog who I said wouldn’t be spoiled (but she so is).  I enjoy going for long walks with my dog and we’ve even raised some money for charity whilst doing this, including the memory walks for dementia and Strep B.  My daughter goes to a local dance school and I’ve always helped out with shows and exams.  But more recently I was asked by them to become a licensed chaperone so I help out more formally now and thoroughly enjoy it.  I love watching the Ballet, not just when my daughter dances, but the professional dance companies’ productions also.  I’m also a massive football fan, but won’t disclose which team I support in case you hold it against me ha ha. I look forward to meeting many of you over the next few months."

Previous activities

We thought you’d like to see some of the lovely things we’ve been able to arrange over the last few months.  To name but a few, we’ve had our Carers Rights Day pamper and information day, our Christmas Ball, evening meals, a ghost tour and climbing at Rock UK Summit Centre.  We’ve also organised craft sessions, which have been really popular, so we have tried to do more of this sort of activity over the coming months.

We know that everyone has their own individual situation, and therefore we would love some suggestions as to different activities for the future.

There is a list of upcoming activities contained in this edition of the newsletter, however we do book more things as they come up, so this is another plea to those of you to get signed up by e-mail or join our Facebook groups. (E-mail us on carers@caerphilly.gov.uk or sign up by searching for “Caerphilly County Carers Group” or “Caerphilly County Young Carers Group.)  Of course, we understand that not all of you are online, and so you are welcome to call us at any time to see if we have more booked.

  • Young Carers Action Day – March 2024

This year, the theme is “fair futures for young carers”.  We will be working with schools to ensure they raise awareness of young carers and support them to look at how to make their options for the future as good as they can be.

Carers’ Groups

This is your chance to speak to us and others who have experience of a caring role.  Even though each group meets for an hour and a half, please just feel free to drop in for as long as you want, and stay on for as long as you like afterwards!  More details can be found on our Facebook group, or contact us.

  • Bargoed group - Murray’s (Upper High Street, Bargoed) on the first Monday of the month from 11am to 12:30pm
  • Blackwood group - McKenzie’s Cafe on the last Tuesday of the month from 10:30am to 12 noon
  • Caerphilly group - The Old Library, Caerphilly on the third Friday of the month from 2pm to 3:30pm
  • Risca group - The Coffee Mill, Risca on the second Thursday of the month from 12 noon to 1:30pm

If any of these dates fall on a bank holiday, we will usually move to the following week on the same day, but if you are unsure, check on Facebook, or contact the team.

Young Carer ID Cards

We are still able to provide young carers with an ID card, which is designed to help young people with a caring role in education and health settings.  To apply for one, please e-mail us on carers@caerphilly.gov.uk for an application form. 

Carers’ Activities February – May 2024

Please contact us to request places on any of the activities below and we will enter you into a random draw.  We will then let you know only if you have been successful. 

Carer Events


First Aid Training for Carers

St John’s Cymru provided adult and young carers with basic first aid training. The sessions were run separately and were very interactive ensuring everyone understood and were capable.

The training covered how to assess a situation, carry out a primary survey, ensure the airways are clear, placing someone in a recovery position, hazards and responding to choking, resuscitation and also locating and using a defibrillator.

Everyone passed their training and received a certificate, valid for 3 years, allowing them to deliver first aid, if they should need to.

As part of “defibruary”, we have been able to organise some first aid training for adult carers with St John’s Ambulance.  This will take place on Tuesday 20 February 2024 from 10am - 12 noon at Cefn Hengoed Community Centre. Please get in touch with Helen on joneshd1@caerphilly.gov.uk to request a space.

Leisure Memberships

Any young carers aged up to 16 are able to get a free Active Kids membership.  To do this, all they will need to do is let us know their name, address and Smart Card number and we will arrange for a year’s membership to be applied. 

The Active Kids membership entitles them to unlimited swimming, gym and certain children’s classes. Unfortunately, you have to be 11 years old and up to use the gym.

We have some extra funding for all other carers to have a year’s membership with CCBC.  E-mail us at carers@caerphilly.gov.uk for an application form.

Carers’ Small Grant Scheme

The small grants scheme is still running, and we have money left in the scheme, which has now benefitted over 300 carers (and their families) in Caerphilly since it began in 2017.  You can complete the form online at www.thecarecollective.wales (click on the link for grants) or if you need an application and guidance notes, please e-mail us on carers@caerphilly.gov.uk or call us on the numbers below. 

(Please note, the application form and guidance notes are often updated, so you may have an out of date version.)

Carers’ Assessments

A carer's assessment is your opportunity to tell us about your situation. You can tell us what you do, how caring affects you and what help you would like.

Sometimes, carers worry about talking to us because of loyalty, guilt, fear of not coping, or pride. Please don't let these feelings stop you contacting us. By letting us know your situation, we can make sure you receive information and advice that could be helpful to you.

A carer’s assessment can:

  • Provide information, advice and assistance that may help with the caring role.
  • Offer emotional support to the carer.
  • Start a “what matters?” conversation.
  • Provide information about what practical support may be available to the carer.
  • Talk about the carer’s strengths and help them find their own solutions to problems and situations.
  • Open a door to a network of other carers, providing more support and advice.
  • Offer support groups and social opportunities.
  • Help with applications to the Carers Small Grants Scheme for things like household items, driving lessons, courses to enable the carer to continue with their caring role, a break.
  • Discuss any training needs that would assist with the caring role and try and source access to this training.
  • Offer one off breaks or very short term breaks from caring.
  • Provide information about care organisations if the person wants to pay for support privately.
  • Provide a Carer’s Emergency Card so that a carer can be identified as a carer should they have an accident or emergency.
  • Signpost on to other organisations or teams that may be able to assist.

A carer’s assessment cannot:

  • Be used as a replacement for an assessment of the cared for person’s needs.
  • Provide ongoing “respite”.
  • Put in an ongoing care package (via funding from Social Services)

You can request a carer's assessment by calling the Information, Advice and Assistance Team on 0808 100 2500 or by e-mailing iaaadults@caerphilly.gov.uk 

If you’ve previously had an assessment, and would like this to be reviewed (maybe your caring role has changed) please let us know.

Caerphilly Carers’ Team

In case you are new to us, the team are:

We have lots of ways for you to contact us, please get in touch by e-mailing carers@caerphilly.gov.uk, on Facebook, on Twitter (@CarerCaerphilly) or at www.caerphilly.gov.uk/carers.


  • Carer’s Emergency Card – please get in touch on carers@caerphilly.gov.uk if you would like one.
  • Time Out from Caring – we may be able to help you with getting one off or short term breaks from your caring role.  Contact us on carers@caerphilly.gov.uk to find out more.
  • We have a number of free My Max Cards available for those of you with children under 25 which offer discounts and concessions on days out and activities. Get in touch if you would like one. 

Other useful information

Julie Fox, Autism Lead for Caerphilly County Borough Council, would like to share the following with anyone who would like to find out more about autism and mental health.

Some e-learning can be accessed here: https://autismwales.org/en/resources/elearning/

She would also like to make everyone aware of a new Mental Health Helpline for Wales (This is a community advice and listening line, which offers a confidential listening and support service): https://www.callhelpline.org.uk/

Young and Young Adult Carers News

Young Carers Festival 2024

We are extremely excited once again to be involved in this year’s YC Festival. It will be taking place from Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd August 2024 at the Builth Wells Showground.  We have spaces for 13 young and young adult carers aged 11 to 25 to attend.  We will have more information in the coming months, but if you would like to register your interest, please e-mail us on carers@caerphilly.gov.uk or call Geraldine on 07713 092795.

Coleg y Cymoedd Wins Award for Support to Carers

Coleg y Cymoedd has received accreditation for Quality Standard Carers Support and was presented with a certificate by Julie Morgan MS, deputy minister for social care in November 2023. 

This identifies carers support, understanding and inclusion of carers within education.

Helen Jones, from our team, was privileged to be invited and spoke about the support the college offers to young carers, working together to ensure they receive the wellbeing whilst at college.  Young carers were inspirational in their speeches, talking about their struggles and problems, identifying how they coped, with determination and support being able to secure a place, attending college and giving them the confidence to thrive.

Laura Wilson and Helen Vickery who have been instrumental in working with the carer’s teams, were at the presentation to celebrate the achievements of the college.

Coleg y Cymoedd will be hosting open days and evenings soon, if anyone is interested and dates will be posted on their website.

Support for Young Carers Considering Higher Education

Helen accompanied a group of key stage 3 pupils from Heolddu Comprehensive School to Cardiff University to meet the reaching wider team and build relationships with the university. This identified how they need support and what they need to achieve.

Following the visit, this is what a young carer said:

“Today has been a great experience to explore opportunities for our future education. The university takes all their students into consideration which was constantly shown throughout the tour.  I believe this has truly opened my eyes into university life and has motivated me massively.  The university helps young carers and people who struggle with their mental health which is a very important factor.  I recommend this tour to people struggling about stepping out of their comfort zone and trying.  It’s a great motivation boost and gives you something to look forward to in the future.”

Cardiff University and The Reaching Wider team are organising webinars “Is HE (Higher Education) for me?”

This offers very good advice for young carers contemplating attending university.  The topics covered include making the correct choices, courses available, universities, overcoming financial barriers, accommodation and UCAS applications aimed at young carers.  This can be accessed in group sessions or on a 1-1 basis.

If anyone is interested, please contact reachingwider@cardiff.ac.uk

And finally…

Our next newsletter will be coming to you via post or e-mail in later in 2024, when we will have more news, activities and useful information for you.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in receiving our newsletters, please let us know. 

Also, if you are no longer a carer and want to be removed from the newsletter mailing list, just get it touch and we can take you off the list.