What we've been up to this month:

Ranging from heartfelt, introspective pieces that explore identity and personal relationships to fantastical, imaginative and energetic ideas and collaborations, we have witnessed an extraordinary outpouring of creativity in the children and young people we work with this month. We have seen young carers, young people with disabilities and marginalised young people push the boundaries of what they can achieve and build supportive relationships with those around them in the process.

This month, we’d like to share Rebecca’s story with you. Rebecca (not her real name), aged 13, has special educational needs and falls on the autistic spectrum. We spent time with Rebecca and her classmates, who all have moderate learning difficulties and helped them write stories, exchange ideas, and produce designs for a mural to be displayed at their local supermarket.

The programme gave young people with disabilities the opportunity to collaborate, improve their confidence and feel included in city living. Starting with storytelling and drama, they collaborated to write their own story, which they transformed into a piece of visual art.

Rebecca told us:

“When I meet new people I often feel scared to talk in case I upset anyone or say something wrong. When the project began, I was really scared to speak but, because all my friends were there for me, I got used to talking. Working with other young people to create stories and visual art has helped me to feel comfortable around people who I don’t know.

I had never written a story before because I often need help with my spelling. My mum is always busy with my brother and sisters so I never really get the chance to write stories or write things down with her. In the visual art workshops, we made masks, drew pictures and used old scraps of wool and cotton to make a picture on the floor. I really enjoyed that part.

I made three new friends during the project. Sometimes I can fall out with people in my class but the workshops have made me feel a lot closer to some of them. Because I have problems and can misunderstand things, I sometimes feel confused and need people to help me. Thanks to everyone else, I grew to understand what we were doing quite quickly.”

Also this month

  • The Create team joined a crowd of revelling Raise Your Hands supporters at April’s Bingo Wings event. After a round of delicious hot wings, we got down to a tense game of bingo. Our Project Manager Kristian called bingo at the same time as another RYH supporter and the two battled it out in a dance-off! Kristian’s slick moves saw him crowned champion and the lucky winner of an afternoon as captain of a canal boat
  • Young carers in Winchester explored their local environment from a different perspective: through the lens of a camera! Check out this gallery from our photography project, documenting their encounters with rushing streams, flowering trees and the moment they happened upon a baby deer
  • We continued to examine the natural world in our music and songwriting workshops with young carers in Kingston. During the Easter holidays, they came together in small groups to compose music and write lyrics based on the seasons

To find out about more of our projects with disadvantaged and vulnerable children and adults visit our blog.