“Yesterday I went to Nottingham to visit a project we’re running in partnership with Action for Young Carers and intu Victoria Centre. There are an estimated 700,000 young carers in the UK, children who can spend up to 50 hours a week caring for a loved one. 27% of those aged 11-15 miss school regularly and a horrifying 68% suffer bullying and isolation due to their caring roles.
To help address some of these issues for a group of 30 young carers aged 5-18 in Nottingham, we designed a half-term project that gave them the chance to get creative with our professional artist Viyki Turnbull! Over five days, they devised a series of “Playful Cityscapes” that re-imagined the city, making new friends, learning creative art techniques and having fun “me time” away from their caring responsibilities. My visit yesterday was a lot of fun for me too! I worked as part of a “paint-up” team of volunteers from intu Victoria Centre and Laing O’Rourke, recreating the children’s work on a large scale. The twenty panels will be erected at the shopping centre in February next year as part of its current refurbishment plan. Chatting to one of the volunteers, she told me how much she’d enjoyed working with the children last week – “they were so much fun but I couldn’t believe how much responsibility they have at home!” – and how relaxing she was finding the painting up today. I thought so too! Working to recreate faithfully the children’s imaginative, vibrant artwork certainly took concentration and a steady hand!
And what of the young carers? An 11 year old came to see how we were getting on – she LOVED seeing her house and castle painted up on a big scale – and to talk to the BBC about what the project meant to her. Our interview, which includes a behind-the-scenes peek at the mural paint-up, was broadcast on BBC East Midlands Today this morning. See below for some excerpts from the BBC film”.
All film credits go to BBC East Midlands Today.