inspired:arts is our multi-artform programme with young and young adult carers. During the pandemic, many of the projects have been taking place online, via our Create Live! delivery mechanism.
In August 2021, our professional artist Lucy Marriott delivered an online photography project with young and young adult carers from Milton Keynes. This gave them a break from their caring responsibilities and encouraged them to take time out of their day to be creative.
Lily (not her real name) cares for her mother who lives with epilepsy.
I was six years old when I began caring, I’m 23 now. My mum is quite an unwell lady so I started caring very young. She had taken on a lot of responsibility and, with her being unwell, it became obvious that my brother and I would have to take over some things.
When I was younger I just helped her with a number of things because one of her health issues is epilepsy, so her memory goes. Obviously the caring role increased over time and I basically do everything around the house, except helping her with money.
“An idea could be brilliant but with a group of people, it becomes outstanding”
Today we were doing a photography workshop. I felt quite proud of some of my images. I really liked how each photo got a comment on what was liked about it and the intention behind the images. I really liked how encouraging and supportive Lucy was. We were able to bounce ideas off each other and everyone was equally respectful of each other. One idea could be brilliant but with a group of people it becomes outstanding.
“You don’t feel alone”
As a carer, the social side has been hard. When it comes to making friends it’s quite hard for me, even to this day, because that social learning from when you were younger never really took place. Projects like this one with Create are great because you’re learning and having fun but also being social. You’re seeing people who are in the same situation so you don’t feel alone, knowing there’s a support system out there if you need it. Even though today was just a few hours and we were at home, it still gives us that space to interact with each other and have fun.
Photograph taken from one of our inspired:arts Milton Keynes workshops.