Wales' first ever micro-carer says the job gives her 'flexibility' around her own lifestyle

Watch the video report by ITV Correspondent Carole Green.

The first ever micro-carer in Flintshire has said the new job gives her flexibility around her own lifestyle.

An ageing population means Wales is facing a huge shortage of carers with councils looking for new ways to meet the shortfall.

Micro-carers work for themselves to provide services in the community and can fit the role around their own lifestyle.

Christine Norman is part of the new scheme and is Wales' first ever micro-carer.

She said: "I really enjoy the work and I've always wanted to be my own boss and be self-employed. That's why micro-caring was really beneficial for me."

"It's a lot more flexible for me and my family. I don't have to work 12 hour shifts which isn't very good for me and my family."

Christine helps to care for Lewis and says the pay is a lot better. She added: "I don't really see it as a job, it's quite refreshing to be able to come to the house and to be able to be a part of the family.

"It's more like being with my friend the majority of the day, it's really funny."

Lewis' mother, Gaynor, says she is in a much better place now with the extra help to care for her son.

Lewis' mother, Gaynor Roberts, acknowledges how helpful the new scheme is after finding it difficult caring for her son alongside her work as a part time primary school worker.

"I'd have to get up in the morning, I'd have to do all of Lewis' personal care, get Lewis sorted, go off to work, come back. I was exhausted."

"I used to ask my parents to sit with him for an hour or two, which isn't fair on them. They've done their bit. Lewis' anxiety was through the roof. It was very, very hard for me. I'm not getting any younger, it affects your marriage, it affects everything."

Gaynor hopes the scheme can be implemented across the country to help the carer shortage.

"This is all new to me, I've only just took Christine on. Lewis and Christine are getting on like a house on fire. Lewis loves going on all his activities, he's a very independent, young man. I work, my husband works, so at the moment it's working brilliantly."

"There is a big crisis out there but hopefully if we can bring awareness to the carers to offer them that this is a good opportunity to go down the micro-care agencies."

Gaynor added: "They can work around their children and families. It is very rewarding working with young people like Lewis."

"I'm in a better place now than I was a few months back."

There are currently 22 other micro-carers who are actively working in the Flintshire community.

Jane Davies, from Flintshire County Council, explained: "We have another 10 people who are coming through our process, so we give them help and support.

"We have quality framework that we support them with. We help them to set up their business and maybe offer funding to do that if they need it.

"There's training available, help with policy, HR, insurance, all the things that a business needs help with as well as the training for the care element of it."