Here at Create, June means Carers Week! Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

We decided to celebrate this vital event with a series of vibrant shows and performances so young carers from Winchester could showcase their creativity to their families, friends and members of their local community including the Deputy Mayor of Winchester. Starting the programme with experimental filmmaking workshops in February, the young carers moved on to create surreal stop-motion animated films with our professional freelance animators. Check out their wild and wacky animated film, The Zebra of Doom:

In May and June, the young carers worked together to choreograph an original dance piece on the theme of “Who I Am,” in which they explored their sense of identity, and used dance to express their thoughts and feelings about their lives as young people and as young carers. They then showcased their films, animations and choreography in sharing events at Whiteley Shopping Centre and the University of Winchester.

In the spirit of Carers Week, these performances gave the young carers the opportunity to connect with others in their community and make themselves heard!

One young carer told us, “I’ve never been able to show anything to a big audience before but now, thanks to the support of the audience, I’m starting to build more confidence.” Another young carer told us, “Through this project I have met new people, explored my talent and learnt to trust my instincts. I feel more confident in expressing myself creatively. Now I don’t feel afraid or embarrassed to do so.”

We were also excited this month to announce our new partnership with Three Six Six - a pair of creative, colourful and cutting-edge cocktail bars in South London. Three Six Six selected us as its charity partner for Negroni Week, a worldwide “celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails and an effort to raise money for charitable causes around the world.” As Negroni Week fell on Carers Week, £1 from each of Three Six Six’s visionary cocktails went on to support our work with young carers.

On 1 August, Three Six Six will be launching a brand new “Create cocktail.” We’ll keep you posted so you can come and join us for a drink! Proceeds from the cocktail will fund our workshops and instil our participants with confidence, creativity and pride.

Speaking of pride, June was LGBT Pride Month, so we took time to reflect on creative:together, our first project with LGBT young people in London. Since February, we’ve been delivering music and photography workshops with young people who attend METRO Charity, an organisation providing advice and support for LGBT people.

A study undertaken by the LGBT Foundation found that more than half of students have witnessed homophobic bullying in school while Public Health England has reported that LGBT young people are at greater risk of becoming socially isolated because of their sexual identity. Through our new creative:together programme, we are offering LGBT young people the opportunity to develop friendships and strengthen their support network by taking part in collaborative creative workshops that enable them to express themselves.

These provide a space in which difference is celebrated, discrimination is countered and positive wellbeing is a collective goal. 

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