Young Adult Carers in Carmarthenshire have launched a national campaign to change the law in respect of the length of time a young carer can study and still receive Carers Allowance.

Current eligibility criteria for Carers Allowance states that a carer must provide 35 hours or more care per week, must not earn more than £110 per week and cannot be education, training or employment for more than 21 hours per week.

Carmarthenshire Young Adult Carers (YAC) have teamed up with the Carers Trust and Fixers organisation to launch a parliamentary petition to seek to change the 21 hour rule which it says discriminates against carers who wish to study to improve their employment prospects and to reach their full potential in life.

20-year-old Lucy Prentice recently attended an Ammanford Town Council meeting to discuss her involvement in the campaign.

Lucy, from Pencader, said: “When I was 11 my mother was rushed in to hospital.She had suffered a bleed on her brain.

“Ever since it’s caused a lot of mental issues such as severe anxiety, depression and she also suffers from memory issues as well.

“There are only two of us at home so she’s dependent on me now. I’ve got to be there to take her out shopping, to pay her bills.

“In the future I really want to work in animal care, but I feel as if the system’s going up against me.

“We need support and signatures to better our future.”

The campaign hopes to achieve 100,000 signatures for the debate to be held in Parliament.

Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards, who attended the official launch, said: “We first have to remember that caring is not a uniform job in which every carer undertakes the same role. Caring comes in many forms and, depending on an individuals’ need, their carers may deliver around the clock care or work with professionals to share caring responsibilities.

“At the heart of this campaign is enabling young adult carers – those who selflessly help look after their loved ones – to study and improve their future employment prospects.

“Many carers and their families experience financial hardship due to an illness or disability within the family, so the current 21-hour rule increases the likelihood that a cycle of financial hardship will continue if young people aren’t able to get good education.

“I don’t doubt the current legislation was deliberately designed to save the state money, but the government must recognise that one small change to the law will better support young adult carers.

“I’m very proud to see young people in Carmarthenshire establishing a national campaign which seeks to make life better for young adults across the UK.

To sign the petition, you can visit