creative:voices is Create’s multi-artform programme that enables adult carers to take a creative break from their caring responsibilities, build trusting relationships with their peers and develop communication skills, new interests and confidence.
During October 2021, we worked with 11 adult carers from Harrow aged 26-60 for eight weeks of music workshops with our professional musician Fernando Machado.
Aarchna told us about her experiences:
“I care for my daughter who has had mental health issues and I also care for my elderly mum. My role is very busy. If you are in a full-time job, in normal circumstances you do 9-5 and then you’re finished. But as a carer, it’s a full-time job. They’re calling in the middle of the night, there’s always something that’s not right so you’re a fixer basically. You just have to keep on fixing, fixing, fixing all the issues they have. So it’s a very difficult role, but it is for life, and you’ve just got to take each day as it comes.
“I think Create works for the words it says, it created something in us.”Aarchna
“I enjoyed the group work, I enjoyed writing the lyrics and everything together. Working with a group of carers, we created something really nicely co-ordinated. I never knew I would love musical instruments because some of the instruments I’ve never even seen! So now I’m actually looking at anything in my kitchen that can make some sort of rhythm or noise.
“I’VE DECIDED TO TAKE UP GUITAR LESSONS”
“I was so impressed with the way Fernando introduced us to all the different instruments – the guitar particularly – that I went out the next day, saw a guitar at a charity shop and I just couldn’t stop looking at it. So in the end I bought it and I’ve not stopped using it! I don’t even know any notes of music but just having the guitar on my lap and listening to the sound, even if it’s not tuned, it’s just so relaxing and I have now decided that I will take up some lessons.
“THESE PROJECTS TAKE AWAY THE ISOLATION”
“Projects like this really help carers because we come away from the caring world to something different and it’s very special because our world is in a bubble. It’s 24/7 and you’re so sucked into it that you forget your own self. These projects give you an opportunity to see what you’re capable of, doesn’t matter what age. It gives you happiness. It’s meeting other people and you don’t feel so isolated. So I think projects like this are really helpful. It really just takes away the isolation because you’re struggling on your own. People say they’ll help or they understand, but really, they don’t know what you’re going through in your day-to-day routine. So our world is different.
“As carers we always look after everybody else and you never ever think about yourself. So to create something for yourself with alike people, it just made me think that there’s something inside you, there is a talent. I think Create works for the words it says, it created something in us. It gave us an opportunity to create something which we never knew we had.”
creative:voices Harrow was supported by Arts Council England, awarding funding from The National Lottery.