Author: nikita

Harrow students changing minds about disability through creative arts

changing:minds Harrow artwork

Harrow students changing minds about disability through creative arts

Create’s multi-artform Showcase by students in Harrow challenged preconceptions about children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The event at Harrow Arts Centre on Tuesday 20 June showcased artwork and performances from the changing:minds project designed and run by Create.

Five SEND (special educational needs and disability) schools and units came together for this unique event which brought together students ranging from 5 to 19 years old at primary and secondary schools. The students showcased and performed works in five different artforms – animation, ceramics, drama, music and painting – all on the theme of “Harrow: My Local Community”.

Launched in 2019, changing:minds uses visual and performing arts to enable children at all five SEND schools/units in the London Borough of Harrow to develop new skills, new relationships and enhanced confidence. The project gives disabled children the opportunity to explore their creativity in high-quality workshops led by Create’s professional artists.

why does it matter?

Disabled people remain significantly less likely to participate in cultural, leisure and sporting activities than non-disabled people. According to Scope, 24% of disabled people have experienced attitudes or behaviours where other people expected less of them because of their disability.

The title changing:minds was deliberately chosen for this programme to reflect the challenges faced by disabled people and perceptions of their capabilities. By presenting their creative work at an annual Showcase at Harrow Arts Centre, it aims to change perceptions around disability within families and the wider community.

what have people said about the projecT?

Concert pianist and Create Patron Nicholas McCarthy has said: “It was truly amazing to see the scale of talent of the children involved, their imaginations and their engagement in the workshop. For me as a Patron of this charity [this project] confirmed to me the need for people to have creative outlets at all stages of life, especially when we collectively face the difficulties that we have all faced of late.”

A parent who attended a previous Showcase said: “I thought the Showcase was marvellous. I believe children gain so much from art and drama. It should be accessible to all, especially to SEN children. This was so inspiring.”

Create’s Founding Chief Executive, Nicky Goulder, commented: “This event is a wonderful celebration of the local community and of the talents of the students involved. No one should be denied access to the creative arts. Creativity allows us to think differently, to express ourselves, and to be heard. This Showcase is a reminder that the life-enriching power of the creative arts is for everyone.”

changing:minds is funded by John Lyon’s Charity with support from Harrow Music Service.



An exhibition celebrating the artwork of adult carers in Edinburgh and Glasgow took place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 June 2023, with a private view on Thursday evening. Displaying a variety of dynamic photography, the artwork was developed in a programme of online photography workshops as part of Create’s creative:voices project, empowering adult carers through the creative arts.

creative voices edinburgh glasgow exhibition
creative voices edinburgh glasgow exhibition

In attendance were participants, staff from Care for Carers Edinburgh and Glasgow East End Community Carers, and friends and family. Separated by a screen for two years, the private view, which took place on the evening of 15 June, was truly a special occasion. Carers who had worked together online throughout lockdown were able to meet and celebrate each other’s artwork.

during the project, his self-esteem lifted, he was going into the garden for the first time and his communication improved.

support worker of create participant

Family and friends

Shirley*, a creative:voices photography participant, said “The project inspired me to go off on my own for a walk after dinner on a really lovely still night. There was an amazing sunset and I was just playing around with composition and trying to remember what I’ve been taught. These photos were the result of that. Seeing my work hung professionally is great. My friend has been dragging people in and telling everyone who the photographer is!”

Shirley sunset phototography
creative:voices participant Shirley’s sunset photography

Adult carer and Create participant Susie* (read her story here) enjoyed Create’s photography project so much so that she took part twice. Susie was unable to attend the private view, so she sent her husband along instead. He spoke to us about the impact of the project on their family.

“During the pandemic Susie was able to join online projects and learn photography. Today I’m at the photography exhibition so I can see this new part of her. The pictures look so professional and she’s blown me away with the quality of the work she’s generated. It’s so artistic. They’re all beautiful colours; oranges and yellows, bright cheerful colours. I know Susie got a chance to look at the exhibition yesterday and she came out tearful. I’m very proud of her.

Susie's husband taking photos of her artwork
Susie’s husband taking photos of her artwork

I do not believe we would have the life together that we have if it wasn’t for the support of organisations like yours.

husband of adult carer susie

“Susie having a break is a reset for us both. I would never stop her doing any of the projects because we all benefit from it. I’d like to thank these organisations for supporting her, they really make a difference to our lives. I do not believe we would have the life together that we have if it wasn’t for the support of organisations like yours.”

“They’ve said that after the exhibition the artwork can be returned to the artists. Hopefully I’ll receive them before Susie comes back from her vacation and I can mount them on the wall. Whenever there’s a tough day she can look at them and remember what she has achieved.”

A photograph taken by adult carer Susie on Create's creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project
A photograph taken by adult carer Susie on Create’s creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project

The evening was full of touching stories. One came from a support worker who has been working closely with an adult carer and her husband who has brain damage:

“The wife couldn’t leave her husband. He had brain damage and was unable to leave the house. She wasn’t getting a break and felt their lives had become completely separate as they had nothing in common. It was going down a rocky road so she asked me what she could get involved in. Care For Carers told us about the online photography project they were running with Create. The couple ended up participating in the project together. To begin with, the husband was non-verbal but during the project, his self-esteem lifted, he was going into the garden for the first time and his communication improved. His wife attributed all of this to them taking part in the Create project together.”

Erica, a Co-ordinator at Care For Carers, shared why giving carers a voice through the creative arts is important. “In many ways, caring is quite an invisible thing. It’s something that people get on with and though it can be really rewarding, it can be really difficult too. Giving people the opportunity to express themselves, learn a new skill or talk to other people in similar situations is important. It might just be for an hour, but it’s an hour they can focus on themselves.”

Create Founding CEO Nicky said “It has been deeply moving to witness the depth of the relationships built online during lockdown, a time during which the lives of carers were made that much more difficult. The artwork on display at the creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow exhibition, and the stories that have been shared, are a testament to the impact creativity can have on an individual, and on society.”

*Names have been changed to protect anonymity.

creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow is supported by First Sentier Investors.

read susie’s story

A photograph taken by adult carer Susie on Create's creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project


“For the last 14 years I’ve been caring. Me and my husband worked, we had our own business. Then, the accident happened. He had a heart attack stopping a crime and got a brain injury, and that’s where it all stopped. This is how I became a carer overnight.”

read more

artwork gallery

How Susie became a carer overnight

A photograph taken by adult carer Susie on Create's creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project

How susie became a carer overnight

Since 2021, adult carers from Edinburgh and Glasgow have come together for a series of online projects with Create – delivered via our Create Live! Zoom format – led by our professional artists in the artforms of photography, visual art and zine. Separated by 50 miles and a global pandemic, the partnership began during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing carers together during a time of extreme isolation to develop both creative skills and friendships through a screen.

A photograph taken by adult carer Susie on Create's creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project
A photograph taken by adult carer Susie on Create’s creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project

In recent weeks, the group have taken part in a photography project under the guidance of Create photographer Alejandra Carles-Tolra.  On Thursday 15 June, the participants were finally able to meet in person when they attended an exhibition celebrating their remarkable artwork. We spoke to Susie about her experiences and what she gained from our creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project.


Susie’s story

“I’m 48, so for the last 14 years I’ve been caring. Me and my husband worked, we had our own business. Then, the accident happened. He had a heart attack stopping a crime and got a brain injury, and that’s where it all stopped. This is how I became a carer overnight. I was also busy raising our daughter and keeping the house. There was no time for me to do anything. Now, our daughter is 16 and I feel that I’m still young enough to learn something. I would like to teach myself further. Photography is something that moves me, so I wonder, could I develop my skills more?  

“I don’t normally have a chance to do creative things. Often when I’m out and about, I would take a second to capture a photo with my phone, but nothing like this project. As carers, we’re just so occupied, it’s non-stop.

“[The project has been] educational. It might give me a chance in the future to do something else with what I’ve learnt. I really enjoyed it. It gives me a break from everything else I do.

re-awakening creativity

“[At these workshops] I’ve discovered this creativity that I didn’t know existed until Alejandra started guiding me. She makes me think about this task only and nothing else, and that is great for me, to be able to take my mind off other things and just concentrate on the specific task.

“After taking part in the project, I can create my own artificial light and do things that I never thought I could. I’ve learnt we can create amazing art with simple things around the house. It’s been a process of, “I had no idea I could use that” and then I try it and it works!

It’s very good to see what other people have come up with, too. It’s encouraging and gives me more ideas. It has made me learn new things.

learning something new

“Photography is something that I always wanted to do as a hobby, and definitely something I’m interested in. This project is just giving me a fresh breath of air and opportunity to learn, create and actually be guided to do things: something as simple as using the camera on my own phone.

A photograph taken by adult carer Susie on Create's creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project
A photograph taken by adult carer Susie on Create’s creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow project

“I can use the skills that I’ve learnt to take a picture of a flower or bird. It makes me feel better and happier. Now I know how to use the colours or change my position so I can get better lighting. It makes me feel like I’ve learnt something. I think it’s important for us to make the time to educate ourselves.

I have learnt that I can do this. I have learnt that I’ve got more confidence, and I feel more empowered that I can do photography.

It was great to hear the other carers admiring my photos. It was just so pleasing to hear that someone actually likes what I did. One carer said “I could have this on my wall”. It’s nice to hear that from someone else.”

creative:voices Edinburgh and Glasgow is supported by First Sentier Investors.


Nurturing Talent artists


Create is delighted to announce that Anthropologie is sponsoring two artists on our Nurturing Talent programme this year.

Nurturing Talent artists
Nurturing Talent artists in rehearsal workshop

The support is part of our ongoing partnership with Anthropologie, an international lifestyle brand that shares our vision of the hope and inspiration the creative arts bring to people’s lives.

Each year, our Nurturing Talent programme provides a platform for six emerging artists to gain invaluable hands-on workshop experience while applying their artistic practice in community settings. They receive training from our professional Create artists, enabling them to build the skills and experience to empower disadvantaged and vulnerable children and adults through the power of creativity.

At the culmination of the programme, both artists will co-lead a cross arts workshop, providing support and inspiration to a group of our participants. During the year, they will also participate in an exciting project in collaboration with Anthropologie.

In addition to their support for Nurturing Talent, till point donations in Anthropologie’s UK stores will run from 5 June until 7 August 2023, helping to raise funds for Create’s important work of bringing the benefits of creativity to more vulnerable people.

Create’s partnership with Anthropologie was launched in 2022 and has already been incredibly fruitful. The company funded inspiring creative arts projects with young and adult carers and older people in late 2022, supported Create during Giving Tuesday, and ran an in-store Christmas appeal throughout last December, all providing essential funds for our work.

Matt Hilgeman, Anthropologie’s Managing Director International, said: “Art and creativity are at the very core of the Anthropologie brand, so partnering and supporting a charity like Create really is the perfect fit for us. It’s a huge privilege to be working with such a worthwhile charity and I look forward to our journey together over the next year.”

We are immensely grateful for Anthropologie’s ongoing support and commitment to our work, and hugely excited about this next chapter of our partnership.

Nicky Goulder, Create Founding CEO

partner with us


change matters enfield project


In a 2023 Carers Trust survey, 56% of young carers said that the cost-of-living crisis affects them and their family. With 17% of young carers aged 16-17 helping with financial matters in the home, financial education is more important than ever.

Recently, we ran our change:matters project in Enfield. change:matters is our project supporting young carers by enhancing their financial literacy using creative artforms. In partnership with Chickenshed, an inclusive theatre company, we ran drama workshops to explore the emotional impact that debt and poor money management can have.

Amari, a young carer from Enfield, attended the project and shared his experiences.

“Saving is the Future” is a poem written by a group of young carers in Enfield on our creative arts project, change:matters. Here it is performed by young carer Amari and Nurturing Talent artist Autumn Sharkey.

“I care for my brother and my mum. My mum has scoliosis and my brother has autism and Tourette’s. I think I was about five years old when I began my caring role, which involves making my brother and my mum meals. I spend all day caring, as I just do what I can to help out. My experiences are different to someone who doesn’t have caring responsibilities.

“During change:matters we learnt about money and budgeting. We did this through drama workshops with Create and Chickenshed. In the workshops we were learning about money by acting out what people being in debt felt like, and what happens when the bailiffs come.

“I learnt that what can really help for budgeting is a shopping list. There’s a current account, which is when you use [the account] every day. Then there’s a savings account.  That’s where you put some money from your work, just in case you’re saving for something. Then there’s also a debit card that you use almost every day and a credit card that you use to pay back. I’ve learnt about budgeting. I also learnt about interest, which is when you can put money in the bank and get more a year later. I will definitely use what I have learnt because I would like to be a businessman when I’m older. I think it will help me to have a lot more money through budgeting and saving more.

“Spending time with other young carers made me feel great. I feel happy that I get to speak to other young people who are going through something similar to me. I found it really great and fun. I got to socialise and learn at the same time. I really enjoyed it, and wish I could do it again.

change:matters in Enfield was funded by The Chartered Accountants’ Livery Charity.



change:matters Staffordshire artwork

meet ava and luisa: “WE CREATED A MASTERPIECE!”

change:matters Staffordshire artwork
change:matters Staffordshire artwork created by young carers

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner. According to Carers UK, there are an estimated 6.5 million carers across the UK, of which an estimated 800,000 are children and young people. 

Our change:matters project enables young carers to explore money and financial education creatively, engaging their imaginations and nurturing their wellbeing at the same time.

We chatted to Ava and Luisa about their experience on change:matters in Staffordshire.


“My caring responsibilities began when my brother was born, about six or seven years ago. As a young carer, I definitely feel that my life is different from others my age. I spend all my time caring. Even when I’m not home, I’m on standby or on call, in case something happens. I’m worried about my family, especially when I’m not there. Most people go to college or education settings but they don’t have any worries. I find that if I’m at college, I get worried about what’s happening at home.


“During this project we went food shopping to find out what the best prices would be at certain places. We learnt about savings accounts and current accounts and what the difference between these is, as well as credit and debit cards. Then we made animations, which involved stop-motion and cutting out things. I really enjoyed working with my group, they were really nice; and [Create artist] Chloe is lovely! She’s someone you’d want to be friends with because she’s laid back.

“The top three things I learnt on change:matters were the difference between a credit and debit card; the difference between interest rates and loans, because I thought that would come in useful in the future; and that it’s probably cheaper to shop in Lidl than anywhere else! I’ll definitely use what I’ve learnt in the future.


“In college, I have to do work, which I feel stunts my creativity, because I want to be creative but I have a task to follow. I’ve been able to let go a little here, because it’s a project for young carers, as opposed to feeling selfish because I’m going out just to enjoy myself, so it’s less stressful. I’m learning on this project, so I’m not feeling as guilty because it’s helpful for my situation.

“Projects like this help young carers because it teaches us about things that schools probably don’t, but should. It prepares us for life with the stuff we’ve been taught so I think it is really helpful. Not only does it give us a place to go, where we can be less worried and get out the house, but it also gives us something to learn about that we can apply in the future.”

change:matters Staffordshire sharing
change:matters Staffordshire sharing with family and friends


“I was around 10 years old when I began caring. I feel the same as Ava, to be honest, I’m always caring and my role still plays on my mind when I’m out. Life as a young carer is definitely difficult, there’s more struggles and concerns.

“I don’t get the chance to be creative normally, because I don’t have drawing pads or anything. Working with my friends on these animations was just amazing and a different experience, and working with [Create artist] Chloe was really fun too.

“We created a masterpiece! Our first theme was savings accounts, and our animation told a story about a piggy who beat up the bank person. The project taught me the difference between debit and credit cards, as well as inspiring me to be creative and gain experience in communication and leadership skills. Projects like this one help young carers because they get our minds away from things and really distract us.”  

change:matters in Staffordshire was funded by The Chartered Accountants’ Livery Charity.



Free The Birds Beautiful Thinking Room Spray


We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Free The Birds, a London-based design and communications agency. They’re known across the globe for their work with an impressive catalogue of well-known brands. 

The making of The Beautiful Thinking Room Fragrance

Free The Birds recently teamed up with revered independent parfumier, Sarah McCartney, to produce ‘Beautiful Thinking’, a room fragrance to inspire imagination and creativity. 

Free The Birds describe the Beautiful Thinking room spray as “a scent to let your mind wander wherever it needs to go.” The fragrance contains peppermint to improve mental function, clearwood with patchouli to help focus, and karmawood for harmony. It features a set of ingredients scientifically proven to help spark creative thought, and each bottle comes with a pencil inside, providing you with the opportunity to be instantly creative. You can find out more and purchase the fragrance here

Paul Domenet, Free The Birds Partner & Creative Strategy Director said “Nothing is more powerful or provocative than our sense of smell. It stimulates our appetites, flies us back to our childhood, transports us to people and places we love and have loved. We’re delighted and honoured to have partnered with Sarah McCartney on this beautiful room fragrance, which we hope will ultimately help to empower the wellbeing of young, creative people.”

Proceeds from Beautiful Thinking will be donated to Create and will enable us to empower more individuals through the power of creativity, enhancing lives and promoting wellbeing among vulnerable people.  

Sara Jones, Business Director and Co-Founder at Free The Birds, said “This fragrance is an experiment. It’s looking into the power of scent in sparking ideas, but also how we can give back in terms of supporting charities that promote creative arts.”

Nicky Goulder, Create’s Founding CEO, said “Our mission is to use creative arts to empower lives and enhance people’s wellbeing. It perfectly aligns with Free The Birds’ own values and purpose, so we are delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner on this initiative. Much like Create, Free The Birds are always searching for new ways to be creative and feel inspired, while also fostering a better, happier world around them. The fragrance is delightful and we have already sprayed it around our office to inspire a more creative working environment!”




meet anna, a young carer from cambridge

artspace cambridge

meet anna, a young carer from cambridge

In February 2023, a group of young carers from Cambridge participated in our art:space music project with Create musician Kate Smith. Developed in 2007 with British Landart:space was our first programme with young carers, and continues to provide young carers in different geographical locations with respite and the chance to develop their creative skills, build their confidence and make new friends.

Anna (13) took part in the three-day art:space music project in Cambridge. She shared her experiences with us.

artspace cambridge

“I’ve been a carer for a few years now. My sister had brain surgery for a brain tumour three years ago. Since then, she’s been on medication. She has been affected long-term because her brain was damaged, and it’s had some emotional effects on her too. I also care for my mum who has ADHD, and I look after both of them as my dad isn’t around. I started caring when I was young and I didn’t really understand everything, but now I get the support I need.


anna, young carer

discovering creativity

“Before coming to the project, I wanted to do a lot more music but I didn’t know how to get started. The project allowed us to create our own music on guitar and percussion instruments. Kate taught us all the different sounds we can create. We’ve learnt about the different instruments you can hit, and how we can use our body to create sounds. It has given me a lot of inspiration and I feel I’ve got the motivation to try new things. It might encourage me to write a few more songs.

“I think being creative opens a lot of opportunities and thoughts, especially at a young age like mine. In school we do music lessons, but otherwise I don’t always get the opportunity to be creative. Sometimes if I’m in a mood or have something in my brain, I’ll just write it down and see if I can create something. This project was definitely something different and nice to do.

building community

“It’s been great getting to know everyone and meeting a whole bunch of new people. I’ve liked learning about their caring role, that’s been really fun. I never stopped smiling when we were playing music as a group. It was great to be together, and learn about each other’s experiences.

While on the project, we got to meet Dame Evelyn Glennie (Create Patron) at her studio. She showed us a range of percussion instruments, and even let us have a turn playing them! I like when she showed me this plucking instrument, it makes a really nice sound. I was a bit nervous but I got to play it, which was nice. Meeting Dame Evelyn was one of my personal project highlights!

related articles

art:space Cambridge is supported by British Land.

British Land logo



In February 2023, a group of young carers from Cambridge participated in our art:space music project with Create musician Kate Smith. During the project, the group were treated to a special excursion. They visited Create Patron Dame Evelyn Glennie’s music studio and explored her impressive collection of rare percussion instruments. The trip provided them with creative inspiration to take into their music workshops on the following days.

Create Patron Dame Evelyn Glennie has performed worldwide as a percussionist and has composed music for film, television and media libraries. She was awarded an OBE in 1993 and has over 100 international awards to date, including the Polar Music Prize and the Companion of Honour. Evelyn has been a supporter of Create’s work for many years, and became a Patron in 2007.

We spoke to Evelyn about her support of our work, and her session with this passionate group of young carers.

“We’ve had a wonderful gathering of young carers and they have been shown the collection of instruments. We have been reflecting on various ways of listening. We’ve been around the world looking at all the instruments, and sharing ideas and thoughts. The young people were incredibly passionate about the conversations and … I learnt a lot from meeting them, so it’s been a wonderful session.

embracing the individual

“Create is an incredible organisation that really embraces so many different subjects. It isn’t only music, but it’s really about tapping into the story of each individual.

artspace cambridge

“We all need to be inspired and we all are creative beings. Sometimes we just have to find where that seed lies or where the entry point is. Create lets people be given the opportunity. In my case, I was given the opportunity to be introduced to music at school and that set me on my journey. We all need that kind of inspiration. I think it’s all of our duty to connect with others and find out what it is that makes them tick as people, and then try to support that as much as we can.

inspiring futures

“We have seen examples of people wanting to be ambassadors for Create because of their experiences working and collaborating with the incredible team. I think the difference that’s been made to so many people’s lives has been extraordinary.

“It definitely inspired me. I wanted to MAKE more music before but I didn’t know how to get started. Now I’ve got more inspiration and I feel I’ve got the motivation again to try things out.”

art:space cambridge participant

“creativity ignites curiosity”

“Creativity doesn’t mean that you have to be talented at something, it’s quite simply finding that thing that you’re passionate about.”

dame evelyn glennie

“Creativity ignites curiosity. Curiosity often really gets you out of the comfort zone, and it’s really quite healthy to be out of the comfort zone. There’s that wonderful balance of dealing with the unknown, but yet you practise the art of observing, and listening is all about observing.

Create’s Founding CEO Nicky Goulder, who also attended the visit, said: “We are so privileged to have an inspirational group of Patrons who support our work. It’s wonderful to see how they encourage and motivate our participants. These real-world experiences go on to inspire futures. The group of talented young carers in Cambridge had the opportunity to explore creativity through new instruments, sounds and methods, while engaging in a community of like-minded people. They enjoyed themselves so much, and I was so excited to hear the music they created following their visit to Evelyn’s studio.”

listen to music created on art:space cambridge




art:space Cambridge is supported by British Land.

British Land logo


young carers action day scotland


“MY anxiety has calmed.”

YCAD Participant
Young Carers in Scotland created banners campaigning for their voices to be heard in our inspired:arts Scotland visual arts project.

There are estimated to be around 800,000 young carers aged 11-16 in the UK. That’s enough to fill Wembley Stadium almost 9 times.  

13,000 young carers care for a loved one for up to 50 hours a week. They spend their time shopping, cooking, cleaning, collecting prescriptions, administering medication and more to support their loved ones. Between juggling their intensive caring role with schoolwork and exams, they have little time left for themselves.

That’s why it is vital that we make time for young carers, and Create’s projects do exactly that.

our ycad 2023 projects

ycad scotland visual art
Young Carers working on their visual art projects

During February half term, we ran creative projects across the four nations, in partnership with Carers Trust for the third year running. Our projects took place in Dumfries and Galloway, Swansea, Wigan and Belfast, our first ever project in Northern Ireland – upskilling young carers in filmmaking, 3D model making, photography and visual art.

Each project was led by our professional artists and focused on YCAD’s 2023 theme, “make time for young carers”. Participants created artwork that reflected this message, including films that show the reality of being a young carer, and banners that campaigned to make their voices heard. This time spent being creative together gave these exceptional young people time away from their responsibilities, allowing them to prioritise their own wellbeing, learn new skills, boost their self-confidence and build new relationships. At the end of the project, young carer Alexandra said “I feel more connected with others because I made lots of friends.”

The toll of caring

By definition, a young carer is “someone under the age of 18 who looks after a family member or friend who has a physical or mental health condition, or misuses drugs or alcohol”. Young Carers Action Day is a time to celebrate young carers, but more crucially, it’s a time to support them, because it is a role that can take its toll. Research conducted by Carers Trust for its new 2023 report “Being a Young Carer is Not a Choice” found that:

56% of young carers and young adult carers said the time they spend caring has increased in the last year.

47% now care for more people than they used to.

44% ‘always’ or ‘usually’ feel stressed because of their caring role.

40% said caring ‘always’ or ‘usually’ affects how much time they can spend with their friends.

56% said the cost-of-living crisis is either ‘always’ or ‘usually’ affecting them and their family.

It’s undeniable that times are tough for young carers. At Create, our projects are designed to provide them with time to be themselves away from the challenges they face.

Jacob, a participant on our inspired:arts Northern Ireland YCAD project, said: “As a young carer, my life is a bit different to other young people my age. My peers aren’t caring for someone whereas I spend my time helping others. It can limit the time I have to do other things. Doing something creative felt enjoyable. I get the chance to be creative at school, in drama or art class, but this felt different. It felt more immersive. I think it’s important to be creative because it helps your brain stay awake.”

Grace, who took part in our YCAD project in Wigan, said: “[During the project] we’ve all used our creative minds instead of being busy and helping out at home. We’ve had some free time and done a lot of different activities, some involving paper, clay and spray. I’ve really enjoyed them all.”

young carers action day scotland

the young carers action day showcase 2023

During the online showcase, carers from Belfast, Dumfries and Galloway, Swansea and Wigan & Leigh shared the artwork they created with an audience of parents and guardians, staff and Trustees from Carers Trust, Create and their carer services, and other invited guests. Create CEO Nicky Goulder talked about the challenges young carers face and the power of creativity in helping reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Carers Trust Trustee Natasha Mutch-Vidal then shared findings from Carers Trust’s newly-published report, “Being a Young Carer is Not a Choice”.

“It’s always inspirational to see the warmth and enthusiasm participants bring to our workshops.”

Nicky Goulder, create founding CEO

Reflecting on this year’s YCAD celebrations, Nicky Goulder, our Founding CEO, said: “We are delighted to partner with Carers Trust again for Young Carers Action Day, ensuring that young carers’ voices and creativity are centre-stage. Together, we have run projects across the four nations, including Create’s first ever project in Northern Ireland. Four groups of young carers have been empowered and upskilled through filmmaking, 3D model making, photography and visual art, giving them time away from their caring responsibilities. It’s always inspirational to see the warmth and enthusiasm participants bring to our workshops, and I have been particularly moved to see how this year’s YCAD theme, “making time for young carers”, resonated with each of them. What could be more important. I am delighted by the pieces they have created and the passion they have shown!”

Carers Trusts’ Head of Young Carers and Young Adult Carers Vicky Morgan said: “We’re excited to partner again with Create for YCAD 2023. This partnership is all about providing young carers with a much-needed break, a chance to express themselves creatively and learn new skills working alongside professional artists. Young Carers have created art linked to the theme of YCAD this year which is ‘make time for young carers’ and the showcase event held on Young Carers Action Day is a platform for them to share what’s important to them and ‘what make time for young carers’ means to them.”


hear from our participants

young carers action day northern ireland filmmaking
young carers action day northern ireland filmmaking


Hear from young carer Jacob (12), who shared his experience on our inspired:arts Northern Ireland filmmaking project for YCAD 2023.

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