Carers getting inspired in series of song writing and jewellery workshops

Young carers in Kingston have spent the past week taking part in song writing and jewellery workshops, meeting new people, learning new skills and having fun through inspired:arts! Between 8-10 April, the participants devised songs and melodies based around the theme of identity.  They had previously taken part in songwriting workshops and used these lyrics as the starting point for their music.  They were even introduced to the ‘Makey Makey’ – a way of turning everyday objects into computer keys, which enabled them to create sounds by touching objects such as bananas – just like a piano!  The project ended with a performance to families, friends and the Mayor of Kingston Penny Shelton and Mayoress Hilary Saw. There are almost 250,000 children in England and Wales caring for a relative.  27% of them aged 11-15 will miss school and an overwhelming 68% experience bullying and isolation.  We designed inspired:arts thanks to a grant from The Queen’s Trust to help young carers develop trust, social skills and supportive relationships, enhance self-confidence, and most importantly to have fun away from their caring responsibilities. A participant commented after the project “I can now sing in front of more people and feel more confident in sharing my ideas.  John [our musician] was really funny and friendly and made sure that everyone was included.  I’m hoping my family will be proud of what I achieved.” On Friday 11, a group of young carers also had the chance to make beaded fabric necklaces and brooches in a one-day jewellery making workshop.  This was targeted at hard to reach girls to give them a much needed break from their caring responsibilities.  Staff at Young Carers Project Kingston said about the participants “It was lovely to see and hear them communicating.  The small, nurturing environment facilitated this.  They were proud of what they created and valued the time and energy the professional artist gave them.”