Young carers celebrate Carers Week with exhibition

 On Thursday 11 June, young carers – and their families – from Winchester & District Young Carers attended the launch of their exhibition Let the Sun Shine on Me at Winchester Discovery Centre. The exhibition is now open to the public until Thursday 9 July. Let the Sun Shine on Me is a collection of stunning photographs that the young people produced with our photographer. Launched during Carers Week, it celebrates their creative achievements and raises the profile of the issues they face. Funded by British Land, the project began with a series of workshops led by our professional photographer Alicia Clarke. After exploring how to use high quality digital cameras, the young carers set off to photograph Winnall Moors and Whiteley Shopping Centre. Using their pictures as inspiration, they then worked collaboratively with our musicians Aga Serugo-Lugo and Emily Allen. Choosing sunshine and friendship as their themes, they wrote lyrics and music, which they later performed to a public audience in Whiteley’s town square.

“I liked that we were all able to listen to each other’s ideas,” said one of the carers, aged 14, “I don’t usually feel able to share things with people so that felt really good. I think we were all really nervous about performing in front of everyone but excited at the same time. I felt really proud of myself for taking part. I’m not that confident so being able to say that ‘I did that’ feels amazing.” See the young people perform and hear them talk about the project:

According to the most recent Census, the number of young carers in Hampshire rose by 24.5% between 2001 and 2011. Over two thirds of young carers are bullied at school and over 50% do not feel that they receive support, which makes Create’s workshops, which encourage teamwork, friendship and peer-to-peer support, so vitally important. Also marking Carers Week, nearby restaurant Brasserie Blanc treated the young carers to a two course menu designed by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc. A spokesperson for the restaurant said, “We are delighted to be able to support Winchester’s young carers by donating a meal during Carers Week. Young carers miss out on a lot due to their caring responsibilities, so we are honoured to be in a position where we can treat them to something special. We wish them the best of luck with their exhibition at the Discovery Centre.”