Hello I’m Collette – Intern at the YCA

Hello everyone on the young carer’s academy website! I’m Colette and I am an intern for YCA and I am excited to be writing my first ever blog. When Dee mentioned that she would like me to write a blog I dreaded the thought of it because I am much more used to writing assignments for my university degree, which is vastly different to a blog.

I am currently in my second year at Bangor University studying psychology. It was actually through my degree that I came across the opportunity to be an intern here.

My university offer schemes to help people from more difficult backgrounds to find work experience, and as I am a carer I was luckily offered this. We spent a while trying to get me onto a volunteering program, but with the pandemic and everything it wasn’t working out very well. After a couple months I was told about an opportunity to work with the YCA, which I thought was perfect as it matches my degree, and I was a young carer myself so being able to work around similar people would be great.

I was so nervous for my introductory meeting with Dee because the work experience seemed too good to be true, but Dee was and has been so supportive, open, and helpful, and it has been amazing ever since. Being part of the YCA team really feels like your feelings and stressors are understood as a carer, because some of the other members have been in the same shoes and everyone is really friendly.

My mum has schizophrenia and experiences episodes of psychosis, she was sometimes hospitalised for months on end because of this. I remember one particular time when I was 9, my mum went to hospital because of her health from September to January the next year and this is where my role of a young carer felt like it really started.

My experience was different to a lot of other young carers I met when I was younger because the person who I was caring for had a mental illness, instead of physical. However I feel like everyone’s experience as a young carer is unique. It felt like no one understood, not even adults as the effects of schizophrenia aren’t spoken about enough and are very stigmatised. Children in school could be quite mean about these circumstances which many young carers can relate to. Things like this as well as stress at home can make it quite hard for young carers and can burn them out.

Now I am working with YCA I really want to support young carers and make sure they aren’t just put to the side and misunderstood. Especially now with COVID, young carers have had to cope with so much. The stress of being a young carer is enough to carry on its own, and then the extra pressure of being home all the time and not getting any time to prioritise yourself. These are just some of the reasons why, we at the YCA want to educate and support young carers more, because they really are superheroes!

We currently have lots of projects at the moment to educate and support young carers. Our most recent project is food for superheroes, where young carers tell us their favourite meals which will be published in a recipe book.

We have lots of things going on our Comms platform to which so easy to use, in it we have channels all about wellbeing, leadership, creativity and being in the outdoors, we also have one called ‘geniosity’ which is where we get to say what the YCA does. I am personally working with the wellbeing and leadership programmes which are so interesting. And…you are very welcome to join us just click the link here

I aspire to support people’s mental health so I am going to be a clinical psychologist in the future. Getting the opportunity to help with the wellbeing project is amazing! My goal as an intern is to make young carers feel understood and cared for themselves, as well as trying to help them look after their mental wellbeing as it is so important! I hope through educating through the wellbeing programme I can do this.


The low down on the Young Carers ID Card

Here at the YCA we are really chuffed to be working alongside some super people, some of those we work with in north Wales have been working to bring to you the Young Carers ID card!

So what is the ID card and how can you get one? You can find out below, any questions contact the amazing teams involved!

The North Wales Young Carers ID card has been developed to identify and raise awareness of young carers as well as provide recognition of their important and often invisible caring role. The aim of this national initiative, supported by Carers Trust Wales is to help young carers, 18 and under, get access to the right support at the right time; so for example if a young carer was identified using their ID by a teacher, doctor or pharmacist, they would know how best to support that young carer.

If you would like to apply for a Young Carers ID card, or want to talk to someone about your caring role, please contact:

Action for Children (Anglesey & Gwynedd)

(01248) 364614 /


Credu (Conwy, Denbighshire & Wrexham)

(01597) 823800 /

NEWCIS (Flintshire)

(01352) 752525 /

Yn ogystal ag adnabod a chodi ymwybyddiaeth o ofalwyr ifanc, mae’r Cardiau Adnabod Gofalwyr Ifan Gogledd Cymru wedi cael eu datblygu i gydnabod eu rolau gofalu pwysig ac anweledig. Nod y fenter genedlaethol, gyda chefnogaeth Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr Cymru ydi helpu gofalwyr ifanc 18 oed ac iau i dderbyn y gefnogaeth gywir ar yr adeg gywir; felly os ydi gofalwr ifanc yn dangos y cerdyn i athro, doctor neu fferyllydd yna fe allan nhw wedyn dderbyn cefnogaeth briodol.   

Os hoffech wneud cais am Gerdyn Adnabod Gofalwyr Ifanc, neu ond eisiau siarad â rhywun am eich rôl ofalu, cysylltwch â:

Gweithredu dros Blant (Ynys Môn & Gwynedd)

(01248) 364614 /


Credu (Conwy, Sir y Ddinbych & Wrecsam)

(01597) 823800 /

NEWCIS (Sir y Fflint)

(01352) 752525 /

Pencils and Paints at the Ready!!! – Fantastic Creative Project Success!

It’s been a while since our blog has been updated and you’ve probably noticed some changes since our last post. Most notably, the one staring at you from the top of this screen! Thanks to the amazing students at Coleg Menai in Bangor, Young Carers Academy has an eye-catching new logo. 

From the very beginning, one of our main ideas was to co-produce the design for our official branding. From the colour scheme to the font, we wanted our logo to come from the minds of students and young carers. So, thanks to the wonderful Karina Shaw at Penglais School, John Ellis at Rhyl High School and Soo Rees-Jones at Coleg Menai, we were able to team up to produce the amazing logo that now adorns our website and correspondence. 

We had an amazing opportunity to reach out to the Art and Design students at Coleg Menai and let them express their creative skills and exercise their array of artistic talents while coming up with a logo. The students were given a conceptual direction that derived from previous conversations held with young carers and with that in mind, it was down to the Art & Design students to imagine and create the new branding from scratch – and it’s safe to say that we were utterly thrilled with the results! 

The project was a huge success and we thoroughly enjoyed working with all the students. The team at Young Carers Academy were absolutely blown away by each and every one of the students’ submissions, but the winning concept, whose design can be seen on our website and correspondence, was Sindy Astrauskaite. The winning design was eventually determined by students from Rhyl High School, Penglais School and the team at Young Carers Academy. Suffice to say it was extremely difficult for us all to choose just one of the amazing designs as each of the students’ work was astounding, but Sindy’s work really stood out. 

Each of the designs were given a mark out of 10 by those judging, and Sindy’s branding concept scored an impressive 62.5!

Feedback for the winning design included:

“It’s modern, clean and I love how unique each of the colour schemes are. It’s very eye-catching and the symbolism is great, too. The font ties in well with the design and I love the merchandise ideas. Overall, really great!”

“Hey look this is like having a young carers footie shirt! The t-shirts are so cool. I would wear this a lot, my friends would be jealous, yeah.”

“These are top-notch. The design suits all age groups of young carers, for all the cool kid young carers!”

“This is very professional, the muted colours and designs are very appealing.”

We all think that the Coleg Menai students did an amazing job. It was clear to see that they all took the brief seriously and interpreted it in a truly creative and impactful way. Each of the designs were of an exceptionally high standard and we’re all privileged to be involved in the project! It was an utter pleasure looking at their work and we’re eager to deliver more successful projects like this in the future!

The students that took part in the creative project have been awarded bursaries for their cooperation. The winner received a £75 gift voucher, the runner-up, Sophie Gerrard, received a £60 voucher and both Dion Jones and Leah Freeman who were tied for third place each received a £30 voucher. The other talented students were also given £15 vouchers for their talent and participation.

From all of us at Young Carers Academy, thank you to all the brilliant students at Coleg Menai for their designs and to Karina Shaw and Penglais School, John Ellis and Rhyl Highschool and Soo Rees-Jones for working with us. We look forward to delivering more projects like this in the future. 

Have a read of Coleg Menai’s news article about the project here!

What do you think of our new logo? Let us know in the comments below!

Academi Gofalwyr Ifanc – Prosiect Creadigol: Llwyddiant!

Mae wedi bod yn sbel ers i’n blog gael ei ddiweddaru, ac mae’n debyg eich bod chi wedi sylwi rhai newidiadau ers ein blog diwethaf. Yn benodol, yr un sy’n syllu arnoch chi o ben y sgrin hon! Diolch i’r myfyrwyr anhygoel o Goleg Menai ym Mangor, mae gan Academi Gofalwyr Ifanc logo newydd trawiadol.

O’r cychwyn cyntaf, un o’n prif syniadau oedd cyd-gynhyrchu’r dyluniad ar gyfer ein logo swyddogol. O’r lliwiau i’r ffont, roeddem eisiau i’n logo ddod o feddyliau myfyrwyr a gofalwyr ifanc. Felly, diolch i Karina Shaw yn Ysgol Penglais, John Ellis yn Ysgol Uwchradd y Rhyl a Soo Rees-Jones yng Ngholeg Menai, roeddem yn gallu ymuno i gynhyrchu’r logo anhygoel sydd bellach yn addurno ein gwefan a’n gohebiaeth.

Cawsom gyfle anhygoel i estyn allan at fyfyrwyr Celf a Dylunio Coleg Menai a gadael iddyn nhw fynegi eu sgiliau creadigol ac ymarfer eu llu o ddoniau artistig wrth lunio logo. Rhoddwyd cyfeiriad cysyniadol i’r myfyrwyr a ddeilliodd o sgyrsiau a gynhaliwyd gyda gofalwyr ifanc, a chyda hynny mewn golwg, aeth y myfyrwyr Celf a Dylunio ati i  ddychmygu a chreu’r brandio newydd – ac fe allwn ddweud yn sicr ein bod yn hollol falch gyda’r canlyniadau!

Roedd y prosiect yn llwyddiant mawr a gwnaethom fwynhau gweithio gyda phawb a gymerodd rhan. Cafodd y tîm yn Academi Gofalwyr Ifanc ei chwythu i ffwrdd yn llwyr gan bob un o gyflwyniadau’r myfyrwyr, ond y syniad a enillodd, sef yr un y gellir ei weld ar ein gwefan a’n gohebiaeth, oedd Sindy Astrauskaite. Penderfynwyd ar yr enillwr gan fyfyrwyr o Ysgol Uwchradd y Rhyl, Ysgol Penglais a’r tîm yn Academi Gofalwyr Ifanc. Maen sicr i ddweud mai sialens anodd dros ben i ni i gyd oedd dewis dim ond un o’r dyluniadau anhygoel, gan fod gwaith pob un o’r myfyrwyr yn syfrdanol, ond roedd gwaith Sindy yn wirioneddol sefyll allan.

Cafodd pob un o’r dyluniadau farc allan o 10 gan y rhai a oedd yn beirniadu, a sgoriodd cysyniad brandio Sindy 62.5!

Roedd yr adborth ar gyfer y dyluniad buddugol yn cynnwys:

“Mae’n fodern, yn lân ac rwyf wrth fy modd efo pa mor unigryw yw’r lliwiau. Mae’n drawiadol iawn ac mae’r symbolaeth yn wych hefyd. Mae’r ffont yn cyd-fynd yn dda â’r dyluniad ac rwyf wrth fy modd â’r syniadau marchnata. Ar y cyfan, mae’n wirioneddol wych!”

“Hei, mae’n edrych fel crys pêl-droed gofalwyr ifanc! Mae’r crysau-t mor cŵl. Byddwn i’n gwisgo hwn lot, byddai fy ffrindiau’n genfigennus, ie.”

“Mae’r rhain o’r radd flaenaf. Mae’r dyluniad yn gweddu i bob grŵp oedran o ofalwyr ifanc, ar gyfer yr holl ofalwyr ifanc sy’n blant cŵl!”

“Mae hyn yn broffesiynol iawn, mae’r lliwiau a’r dyluniadau yn apelio i’r llygad.”

Rydyn ni i gyd yn meddwl bod myfyrwyr Coleg Menai wedi gwneud gwaith anhygoel. Roedd yn amlwg i weld eu bod nhw wedi cymryd y briff yn ddifrifol ac wedi’i ddehongli mewn ffordd wirioneddol greadigol ac effeithiol. Roedd pob un o’r dyluniadau o safon eithriadol o uchel ac mae’n fraint i ni i gyd cael bod yn rhan o’r prosiect! Roedd yn bleser pur edrych ar eu gwaith ac rydym yn awyddus i gyflawni mwy o brosiectau llwyddiannus fel hyn yn y dyfodol!

Mae’r myfyrwyr a gymerodd ran yn y prosiect creadigol wedi cael bwrsariaethau am eu cydweithrediad. Derbyniodd yr enillydd daleb anrheg o £75, derbyniodd yr ail orau, Sophie Gerrard, daleb o £60 a derbyniodd Dion Jones a Leah Freeman a oedd wedi’u clymu am y trydydd safle daleb o £30 yr un. Cafodd y myfyrwyr talentog eraill hefyd dalebau o £15 am eu sgil a’u cyfranogiad.

O bob un ohonom yn Academi Gofalwyr Ifanc, diolch i’r holl fyfyrwyr disglair yng Ngholeg Menai am eu dyluniadau ac i Karina Shaw ac Ysgol Penglais, John Ellis ac Ysgol Uwchradd Rhyl, a Soo Rees-Jones o Goleg Menai am weithio gyda ni. Rydym yn edrych ymlaen at gyflawni mwy o brosiectau fel hyn yn y dyfodol.

Darllenwch erthygl newyddion Coleg Menai am y prosiect yma!

Beth ydych chi’n ei feddwl o’n logo newydd? Gadewch i ni wybod yn y sylwadau isod!

Welcome to the Young Carers Academy

This is the very first blog of the Young Carers Academy, and we are so pleased and proud to share this with you. We have had an interesting and successful 2020, and we round the year off with some changes that mean we are developing and expanding into 2021.

So let’s start with telling you a little bit about us….The Young Carers Academy is new, innovative, creative, bold and simply full of joy. We have a wonderful team of people and are looking forward to bringing more people on board with us as we move forward this year.

The Academy was born out of the work of Dr Dee Gray, who has pioneered ‘best self’ wellbeing and has a track record of working with people who are flourishing during challenging times. Dee has not only been working with carers of all age groups but has been a carer since she was a child. Dee leads on all the co-produced development opportunites/projects, and on the research that underpins all that we do.

In 2020 we had the fabulous Pam Luckock as co-founding Director with Dee, this year sees Pam retiring from her Director role and assuming an Associate role instead. Pam is an expert facilitator and is passionate about co-production so she is the ‘go to’ person in these matters. Pam is also a carer.

Taking up the co-Director role is the rather amazing Dr Richard Edwards! Richard is a highly successful entrepreneur and is passionate about working with and supporting young carers, he knows that there is potential just waiting to blossom and is keen to innovate and lead on our programmes.

We are also blissfully happy to have Caroll Whitbread as our Accounts Manager and Emily Roberts as our V.A. Caroll is an absolute whizz with numbers and has a great business focus, she is also patient, compassionate and likes to laugh…a lot. Caroll has been a carer since she was a child. Emily is just so wonderful, she is smart, efficient, and helpful.

We also have a growing band of Associates, these are our people with specific areas of expertise, who will be working on and co-producing the most engaging and exciting opportunities with young carers.

Last and most of all we have our YOUNG CARERS!!!! Thank you so much for co-producing the projects with us in 2020, we are so looking forward to working with you all this year.

We would like to end this our first blog saying thank you to our sponsors, we couldn’t had done this without you..and with an invitation..We welcome all young carers to be part of our co-produced Young Carers Academy, we welcome collaborators and partners and sponsors. So don’t just sit there…get in touch.

From all of us here at the Young Carers Academy stay calm, be safe and ‘be your best self’!