Last night, our Special Projects Executive and I attended the Children & Young People Now awards ceremony, national awards that have become the gold standard for everyone who works with children, young people and families. It was a privilege to be among such an inspiring group of organisations and individuals being recognised for such outstanding work.
Create was in a shortlist of just four for the “Young Carers” award and, whilst we did not win – our congratulations go to Portsmouth City Council whose Roundhouse project helps to change the lives of young people who are caring for alcoholic or drug-addicted parents – I am so proud of the whole Create team none-the-less. Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award is testament to the passion, commitment, drive and energy of everyone who is involved in our art:space and inspired:arts programmes for young carers aged 5-18 and 13-25 respectively.
There are an estimated 700,000 young carers in the UK who can care for up to 50 hours per week. 27% of those aged 11-15 miss school or experience educational difficulties and an overwhelming 68% experience bullying and isolation. Our programmes provides young and young adult carers with a break from their caring responsibilities through high quality, innovative creative activities such as dance, drama, music and visual arts. These engage their creativity, develop their confidence and enable them to interact with their peers and build new friendships in a trusting environment. Having fun is pretty high on the agenda too!
Young carers recently told us:
- “With more self-confidence, I can now make new friends and do more things with them.”
- “This music project has helped me communicate with people I don’t know.”
- “It made me feel like I was the person who was being taken care of.”
You can read about our recent project with young carers in Nottingham and see a short video of one of them talking about what the project meant to her here.
To help us win the DSC Social Change Awards “Everyday Impact Award – Long-term Enterprises Nominees 2014”, please vote for us by 9am on Monday 24 November.
Nicky Goulder, Chief Executive