Young carers are a vulnerable group of children who often experience bullying, isolation and mental ill-health. Most of the 700,000 young carers in Britain take on up to 20 hours of caring responsibilities a week. Some caring for more than 50.
Create’s creative arts programmes with young carers encourage them to express themselves and develop confidence, self-esteem and supportive relationships with other young carers.
Owen, 16, cares for his mother, who suffers from depression and chronic pain, as well as his older brother, who is blind. He told us about his experiences taking part in Create filmmaking and music workshops in Bath.
“My mum developed a back problem when I was about twelve years old. It progressed until a doctor told her she couldn’t work anymore and she now suffers from depression and constant pain. But like everything, my home life has its ups and downs. You have to make the best of what you’ve got.
“I like to be creative but I don’t often get creative opportunities like this. I can draw at home but I wouldn’t have the equipment to go out and make a film. And although I had tried filmmaking before, I didn’t have the opportunity to look at different camera shots or experiment with new techniques like I have done here.
“Since we had SouthGate Centre to use as a location, we decided to make a film about a group of friends going out to town. With every team there are moments. Young carers all have something which can cause tension or drama with other people. But I really enjoyed working with such a motivated group of people.
“It was really nice to explore making music because I’ve never had the chance to try it out before. Being in this environment with musicians who are friendly and have a laugh with you really encouraged me to try new things and expand my skills and knowledge. Knowing that you’ve created something gives you a nice feeling. I felt a lot of pride when making the soundtrack; pride and a feeling of accomplishment in saying, ‘Yeah, I did that.’”
A donation of just £5 could help a young carer like Owen to take part in a Create workshop this February half term.