Liv Prime, a music student at Cardiff University, recently spent time with us to learn about our work and its impact on our participants. Here she writes about what she saw.
I’m Liv, a second-year student at Cardiff University. As part of my course I was required to carry out a work placement in the arts industry. I contacted Create because I wanted to gain an insight into the workings of the organisation, and also see first-hand how they help and support the wider community.
Working with young carers
In my week’s placement I had the amazing opportunity to participate in one of Create’s projects. I worked with the team to deliver a visual arts project with young carers. Working with Carers Trust, Bromley Well Young Carers and its professional artist Jenny Leonard, Create delivered a three-day project with young carers that enabled them have an escape from their daily lives and responsibilities.
It was a really enlightening experience: before taking part, I was unaware of the role of young carers, and how many young people have caring responsibilities for others.
Across the three days of the project I saw the vital role projects like these play in people’s lives. The transformation in the participants’ confidence in such a short period of time was profound. I discovered just how crucial it is for young carers to have these networks, so they can build new relationships while expressing themselves in a safe environment. Taking part in creative activities enables them to convey their difficulties and emotions while incorporating them into something bigger and learning to manage them in a positive way.
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Young carers created these “visual CVs” on the project that Liv attended
A chance to express themselves
Creative arts workshops give the participants a chance to build new friendships, finding similarities with other participants and bonding over them. This has been extremely important over the last year during the pandemic: the workshops have given the young carers a chance to have social interaction and communicate with other people outside their homes, while bonding over the act of creating together.
I think many people are unaware of the role young carers play in society. It’s extremely important to educate people about this so we can all support young carers better – especially the extremely young children who are caring for family members.
From what I saw, the young carers really appreciated taking part in the workshops, and art was a really enjoyable way for them to express themselves. The importance of projects like this is immense as they bring people together, enable them to learn something new and connect them with artists and people in industries that can spark a wider interest in creativity.
Most importantly, they allow the participants to express their personalities freely, and talk about their circumstances and what they encounter in life in a fun, safe environment.
“Many people are unaware of the role young carers play in society. It’s extremely important to educate people about this”Liv Prime
Growing in confidence
This is where I saw the biggest difference in participants on a project: their confidence grew and they became more expressive and open in discussing their personal experiences. I also saw pride in what they do and what they can achieve. It was really inspiring to see just how driven a lot of the young carers were and what a difference the project made in how they expressed their ideas and what motivates them.
I found the experience really enlightening and have found a really strong passion in supporting charitable work, especially in the arts sector. During my time with Create I learnt just how great the impact of the charity’s work is.