We had a quick chat with Emma from Gofal I Chi about the work that they do…
What is Gofal I Chi?
Gofal I Chi is a young carers project run by Action For Children that focuses on the emotional wellbeing of young carers.
How do you help young people in Cardiff?
We help young people by running small groups in schools during the school day. The groups are usually made up of around 3- 8 young people at a time.
The focus of the work is dependent on the needs of the individuals, and a specific group as a whole. Some examples of the work we do are around identifying feelings, how to express feelings, confidence, self-esteem, communication, coping strategies, support networks, resilience, risk, building relationships and identity. All the work is done through a combination of talking and sharing experiences and creative activities.
The groups run once a week (either on a Monday or Wednesday), and I can work with the young people for up to 10 weeks. Depending on the needs of the young people, I am also able to conduct some 1:1 sessions.
What is a young carer?
A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem.
Most young carers help look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister.
Can a young carer come direct to you for support or do they need to go through a teacher or doctor or someone?
The criteria for referring is:
- the young person will have a caring role – whether that be caring for a parent or sibling who has physical disabilities, an illness, addiction issues, and or mental health problems.
- This caring role is having an impacting on the young person’s emotional well-being.
- The young person must be aged between 5 – 18 years old.
Anyone can refer into the project: schools, other agencies, counsellors, self-referrals. Their parent/carer does need to be made aware of the referral before we contact them.
Once we receive a referral we contact the family and arrange to visit them in their home to explain about the service we can offer, answer any questions, and discuss whether the young person would like to take part in our project.
What’s the best way for someone interested in your service to contact you?
They can contact me by:
- Post: Gofal I Chi, Young Carers Project, John Reynolds Centre, Llanrumney, Cardiff, CF3 5NX
- Telephone: 02920 360556 (and asking for Emma or Steph) or my mobile: 07715043753
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Why are you called Gofal I Chi?
We are called Gofal I Chi because in Welsh it means “care for you” and as young carers spend a lot of their time caring for someone else, it’s to let them know that our project will help care for them.
Image by Action for Children