Our project is titled Creative Carers and aims to enable young carers to build a set of both creative and transferable skills, alongside broadening their understanding and engagement with the arts. The project also aims to raise awareness of the pressures faced by young carers by showcasing their creative talents to the wider community.

These aims will be addressed through a series of creative workshops delivered to young carers from the Morecambe area. Through these creative workshops we will present a broad variety of expanded art practices. The workshops will be tailored to the interests of the group which will hopefully allow us to deliver an engaging and exciting project. To conclude the workshops we will organise a final celebration exhibition of their work. This event will be open to the families and friends of the young carers as well as an invited audience of professionals. It will provide an opportunity to exhibit the artworks they create as well as present a documentary film of the project.

We hope that the project will increase the confidence of the young people we work with, providing them with better support networks with peers as well as professionals. In addition to this we hope the individuals are inspired by the creative aspects of the project and that their understanding of and enthusiasm for the arts increases. Finally, and most importantly, we aim to provide the young carers with an enjoyable and social environment, helping forge new friendships, through running workshops and activities which, above all, excite them.

We are developing this project in the hopes that it will have a sustainable structure that can continue to be beneficial for the young carers after our involvement with the project ends. This will be made possible through collaboration with our partner organisations who are keen to continue and develop the project with the young carers.

‘Artsmark supports Arts Council England’s goal of ensuring that every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts and culture’ (Trinity College London 2012). Young carers are under considerable pressure to provide care for their relative, but it is vital they receive the same educational standard and experiences as their peers. Therefore we will be taking their aims into consideration to achieve ‘great art for everyone.’ (Davey. 2010)

‘Young carers aren’t going to stop caring.’ (Action For Children.) This quote is fundamental to ensure our project works. We cannot expect a young carer to give up hours of their time, when they are already struggling to make time. The benefits of the project will be to give them a break, allowing them to have fun and helping to create a balance between their caring responsibilities and being a child.

Over the last decade, services which support young carers have evolved from simply providing respite activities, to more targeted support, and more recently support for the whole family. Our unique selling point will be to provide a relaxing environment and develop social skills using creative workshops. Our project is unique, as currently none of the schools in the North West recognise their young carers as a collective, nor provide them with the support that our creative workshops hope to achieve. The project’s culmination will also provide an opportunity for the families of the young carers to recognise their achievements and enjoy a celebration evening away from the daily strains faced as a young carer.

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