Create Live! photography with young carers


Create Live! is Create’s online, interactive project initiative developed to reach participants during the lockdown, offering a creative lifeline to the most vulnerable adults and children in isolation. Over three days in April 2020, Create’s professional photographer Alejandra Carles-Tolra delivered an online photography project with young carers from Kingston. 

We spoke to Mary, a participant, Create artist Alejandra, and Kingston young carers about the experience.

Mary’s experience

Photograph taken by a young carer on the Create Live! photography workshop

Mary* (13) has been caring for as long as she can remember for her younger brother Harry* (11), who has Down Syndrome and diabetes.

These are her reflections on the project:

“Over the last three days, we’ve been looking at different techniques for taking pictures, experimenting with different objects, and expressing our creative sides by taking photos. Doing a creative project over video call was actually really good because of the break-out rooms where we could work in smaller groups. It was a lot easier to use the technology than I expected it to be. The only difficult thing is WIFI for some people isn’t always so good. It was a really good project for being stuck inside!”

* Name of young carer and her brother changed to protect anonymity

Read the full interview with Mary here. 

Create artist Alejandra Carles-Tolra

Photograph taken by a young carer on the Create Live! online photography workshop

Developing and running a Create Live! project was a very interesting challenge. At first, I worried it was going to feel very impersonal, that I wouldn’t be able to adapt to each person’s needs in a virtual room, but that wasn’t the case at all. The way the work translated over video call was surprising in a really positive way. It felt much closer to an in-person Create project than I was expecting.

By the end of the project it felt as though we had forgotten that we were not in a real space together; it didn’t feel strange that we had spent five hours in this virtual room. I think that was possible because the project combined the participants’ physical spaces and the virtual world: we were constantly reminding ourselves of the real world around us by taking photographs. Collaboration is always at the centre of my work and during this period of increased isolation it felt essential that the young carers could collaborate and share their creative work and ideas with each other.

Read the full interview with Alejandra here. 

Kingston Carers’ Network

“The online photography project was a great success. Create Live! gave the young carers a break from their caring roles and time to socialise, have fun and be creative. The young carers learnt lots of new skills; they learnt how to get the most out of each photograph and how to use their phone camera capabilities to their fullest. Through the project the participants’ confidence, skills and self-esteem were developed. The young carers were very proud of their work and keen to showcase it to the group.

Liz Grimwood – Kingston Carers’ Network


The coronavirus outbreak means that loneliness and anxiety are increasing. Our new digital initiative, Create Live!, is helping to empower lives, reduce isolation and enhance wellbeing. Find out more about it here.

Donate now and help us to provide a vital creative lifeline to the most vulnerable children and adults in isolation.

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