Drama workshop set up to support young carers nominated at National Diversity Awards

A drama workshop set up to support young carers in Cardiff with responibilities well beyond their years is up for the National Diversity Awards.

The Time 4 Me project was born out of the 2010 census, which found a larger than normal proportion of carers aged between seven and 18 in and around Cardiff.

It aims to help build confidence and self-esteem and offer a "break-out" from their everyday responsibilities.

Jessica Joshua and Ryan Jones told ITV News how the project helps them. Credit: ITV News

The National Diversity Awards celebrate the achievements of grass-root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work.

Jessica Joshua, who looks after her mum who has diabetes and a younger brother with cancer, said: "The responsibility of it, we can cope with it but when we can't... we come here and we get a load off our mind and off our chest.

"It helps us a lot coming here."

  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Sally Biddulph

Through the various activities the children also have time to dream.

Ryan Jones, who has a brother with down syndrome, wants to be an actor for both himself and his brother.

He said: "Knowing that he comes to my shows pretty much every time I perform breaks my heart because he loves me performing.

"He loves it when I sing and it just gives me joy that I know my brother is in the audience watching me."

Julie Griffiths, who helps run the project, said her philosophy is that their job is done if the carers go home with a smile on their face.

She said: "A lot of our young carers have so much responsibility that they carry, in terms of having to do practical tasks at home and emotionally support people at home, as well as having to deal with their own lives.

"So this is like a break-out, it's a way they can just be themselves and express themselves.

The National Diversity Awards will take place in Liverpool Cathedral on the evening of Friday, September 20.

  • The National Diversity Awards will be streamed live on the ITV News website from 9pm on Friday September 20.