There are over 700,000 young carers in Britain who on average take on 17 hours of caring responsibilities per week – some care for more than 50. School holidays can be a difficult time for young carers – for many, without school’s daily routine, increased time at home equates to an increase in time caring for a relative.
During the summer holidays, young carers in Lambeth had the opportunity to participate in a multi-arts project, run by award-winning charity Create, designed to give them creative and social time away from their caring responsibilities. Part of Create’s national connect:create programme, a partnership with Deutsche Bank, the project is for young people aged 11-18 who attend Lambeth Young Carers.
Photography, film and music
Working with Create’s professional artists, the young carers are experiencing a range of art forms throughout 2017. The connect:create programme began in April. Since then the young carers have created music with musician Paul Griffiths and short films with filmmaker Aoife Twomey. During late August, they explored photography with photographer Adele Watts, including a trip to Forest Hill’s Horniman Museum.
Different arts, different skills
This range of activities is allowing the young carers to develop a variety of interconnected artistic and technical skills, boosting their self-esteem. The connect:create programme will continue in October, when young people will take part in creative writing workshops with professional poet Simon Mole.
Create’s connect:create programme develops an environment in which both creative and social skills can be nurtured and young carers are able to come together to channel their creativity collectively. By working together, the young people develop their communication skills and create peer-support networks. The programme is supported by volunteers from Deutsche Bank.
Free to choose
One young carer taking part in the project said: “Doing something creative made me feel like I was in control. We were free and allowed to choose what we wanted to do. Projects like these help young carers because we get to experience new things, which we don’t usually get to do.”