These oversized arts tools played a part in our latest programme with adult carers in Newham.

During May, we collaborated with the carers to experiment with a range of challenging and inventive artistic techniques, including using five-foot pencils! Together, the carers attached pieces of charcoal to sticks of bamboo, testing their imaginations as they created an underwater scene on a shared stretch of paper. The following week, they recycled old images and photographs, upcycling them by painting over the top and sewing thread across the images. Using snapshots of the past, they worked together to create new memories to treasure and share with the person they care for.

According to Carers UK, 54% of adult carers expect their quality of life to get worse in the next year. That’s why we’re working to give young carers the skills and self-confidence they need to be well-equipped for the future, and ready to tackle any challenges that may lie ahead. Your support will help transform the lives of young carers like Cara (not her real name), who took part in our filmmaking project in Winchester.

Earlier this year, we worked with her and 11 other young carers from Winchester & District Young Carers on a once-in-a-lifetime filmmaking project. Our professional artist Jack Cornell guided the workshops as the young carers conjured up a plot and storyboard, learned cutting-edge filming techniques, and mastered the editing process.

 

Check out their experimental film ‘What’s Up Alien?’, a playful exploration of Winchester that brings out the bizarre in the British high street.


 Cara, aged 15, has been caring for as long as she can remember for her older sister, who has brain damage, epilepsy, learning difficulties and scoliosis in her spine. These are her reflections on the project:

“My sister has the learning age of a 4-6 year old although she’s actually 20 so I play with her, keep her happy, help her get changed and give her medicine. It’s a lot for my mum to deal with on her own. It has made me grow up a lot quicker. I would say that I’ve probably been in hospital more times than other young people because of my sister’s health and that has been quite scary.

Being creative makes me really happy. It gives me a chance to get away from the stress, even if it’s just for a little while. These workshops have enabled me to have fun with my friends and learn something new together. When it’s stressful at home, I come and do this three-day workshop and it takes my mind off it.

Although I know most of the other young carers who use the service in Winchester, doing the project has made me feel closer to some of them because we’ve had to work so closely together. When I work with young carers, they know what it’s like for me and I can talk to them if I need to, whereas my friends at school don’t understand at all. My friends who are young carers take the time to go through things with me and help me work my problems out.”

Carers Week is coming up 6-12 June, so keep an eye out on our blog, follow us on twitter and like us on Facebook for daily news and updates.