Local Young Carers Have The Chance To Get Creative

They work with professional artists during half-term break

Young carers in Merton, including a number from Wimbledon, had the chance to join in a multi-arts project, run by the charity Create, designed to give them creative and social time away from their caring responsibilities.  

Part of Create’s connect:create programme, a partnership with Deutsche Bank, young people aged 12-15 who attend Carers Support Merton are working with Create’s professional artists to experience a range of art forms throughout 2017.

During autumn half term they explored dance and creative movement with Create dancer Rachel Drazek, working together to produce a collaborative performance piece around the theme of “change and transition”.

The connect:create programme began in August, when visual artist Daniel Lehan led printmaking workshops with the young carers. One young carer who took part said: “I feel more confident now because I know that if I try something new I can do it, and I met some nice people and worked with them well. I think my mum and sister will like what I’ve made.” 

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.

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 connect:create dance project in Merton culminated in a performance on the final day of the workshops, attended by the young carers’ families. This opportunity to share their work strengthened the young people’s confidence and the supportive relationships developed during the project. The programme is supported by volunteers from Deutsche Bank.

Joe Collins, Youth Coordinator at Carers Support Merton, said: “Extensive cuts to our core funding have impacted heavily on our ability to deliver respite activities and workshops during school holiday periods, which are undoubtedly times of particular need and isolation for young carers.

“As such we are increasingly relying on the support of partners such as Create (whose support we have been extremely fortunate to have benefitted from for a number of years!) to facilitate such sessions. During particular times of difficulty, having Create workshops booked on an otherwise fairly sparse events calendar has been incredibly heartening - guaranteeing some invaluable respite for our young carers.”

November 9, 2017