art:space is Create’s multi-art programme for young carers delivered in partnership with British Land.
In August 2021, our professional artists Alicia Clarke and Teresa Paiva delivered photography and ceramics projects with Southwark-based young carers. This gave the young carers a break from their responsibilities, encouraged them to build trusting relationships with their peers and developed their social skills and confidence, enhancing their wellbeing.
Harrison (not his real name) spoke to us about his experiences of taking part.
Caring in lockdown
“I care for my mum because she is going through a tough time right now. She has helped me, so I repay her by taking care of her. Sometimes it can get a bit stressful for me because when my mum is in pain it upsets me and makes me worried.
“Lockdown was really hard for me because I had to stay home. I didn’t feel great as I had to spend more time alone. These projects have helped me feel less isolated because I get to be with other people.
“I heard about the projects through Southwark Young Carers. I took part in photography workshops and ceramics. In photography, we got to go out to different places around [Surrey Quays] shopping centre and take photos of the lake. In ceramics, we got to create things with clay and then we made shrines. Doing creative workshops in person was really fun and I got to use my creativity.
“I would like to take photography as a GCSE now!”Harrison
“The artists, Alicia and Teresa, were really fun and they helped me a lot. They helped me understand and they also taught us a lot of different things that I remember today. I would like to take photography as a GCSE now. I went to the photography project and took part and I feel like it can really help me when I grow up. I was interested in photography before but the project made me a lot more interested, because we were able to grow and learn different things and be creative.
How creativity helps
“Doing something creative felt really good. It’s important to be creative because it allows you to make your ideas into a reality. Doing things with other people made me feel happy and helped me a lot too. Meeting new people was nerve-wracking at first because I didn’t know anyone but as it went on, I became more confident.
“Projects like this help carers like me because I learn new things and it gives me time to myself. I feel less isolated because I get to be with other people, and I feel more connected to my community. The projects have helped me change for the better!”