We have launched our first project with adult carers, thanks to funding from an anonymous donor. Designed in partnership with Carers Lewisham, creative:voices will take crafts, creative writing and music activities to a group of adult carers who attend the carers centre in Lewisham.


 There are almost six million carers in the UK – one in 10 people. Around half are aged over 50 and 1.5 million of these are carers over the age of 60. 1.25 million carers care for over 50 hours a week (source: The Princess Trust for Carers). They often assume too much responsibility, being involved in physical or emotional care or responsibility for someone’s safety or well-being. The impact of this can include increased stress levels, mental or physical ill-health, poverty and isolation. During November and December, our jewellery designer is taking six craft workshops to the Lewisham Carers Centre, where the adult carers will learn to make rings, mobile phone charms, necklaces and Christmas decorations. These will make perfect gifts for their loved ones just in time for Christmas and enable them to decorate the Centre! After the first workshop, one of the participants commented, “It’s so nice to be able to sit and do something for myself.”


 The second part of creative:voices will take place between January and March 2012 with a series of creative writing and music workshops for parent carers. Working alongside our professional writer, the participants will write both poetry and prose, focusing particularly on the creation of imagery, rhythm and sound. A series of weekly music workshops will then use the writing as inspiration for vocal and instrumental material. By helping to ‘up-skill’ the parent carers, creative:voices will encourage the parents to develop skills and activities that they can use with their children at home and this year’s programme will end with a shared music workshop for the parents and their children. These workshops are designed to be inclusive, self-contained and to allow the carers to arrive and leave as they needed to, so that each is able to balance their “time out” at the project with their caring responsibilities. The programme is designed to meet the unique needs that the service has identified for the group of carers who attend. The primary aims of the workshops are to give the carers a break from their caring duties and a chance to do something fun, imaginative and artistic with their peers in a safe, non-threatening environment.