Captivating exhibition gives voice to unpaid carers from Edinburgh and Glasgow

A remarkable photography exhibition that celebrates the talent of unpaid adult carers is taking place in Edinburgh from Thursday 15 June to Sunday 18 June 2023, with the launch event on Thursday 15 June 2023.

Photograph by one of the carers taking part in creative:voices

The exhibition features captivating photographs taken by adult carers who attend Care for Carers Edinburgh and Glasgow East End Community Carers. It is a celebration of their participation in creative:voices, a multi-artform programme that enables adult carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities. The programme was designed and delivered by Create, the UK’s leading creative arts charity, and aims to empower and enhance the wellbeing of carers by providing them with an outlet for self-expression.

The project has been run online since the pandemic and participants, who became friends through taking part in creative sessions together for several years, are only now able to meet for the first time. Through various artforms the programme enables carers to discover new skills and connect with others who share similar experiences.

Why does it matter?

One in eight adults in the UK is a carer. Carers provide unpaid care for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. Many are unable to take a break from their caring responsibilities and 42% say that their personal relationships, social lives and leisure time have been restricted. 81% of carers feel lonely or isolated as a result of their caring role. 72% of carers say they have suffered stress or depression as a result of caring.

creative:voices was designed to alleviate feelings of isolation and enhance wellbeing, enriching carers’ sense of belonging in their community and increasing their confidence in themselves and their abilities.

What have participants said?

Susie found that the project gave her both new skills and confidence:

“I can use the skills that I’ve learnt in the [project] to take a picture of a flower or bird. It makes me feel better and happier. I think it’s important for us to make the time to educate ourselves. I have learnt that I can do this. I 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.”

Lachlan said creative:voices helped bring him out of his shell:

“I’ve always found it difficult to talk to people. I’m a bit of an introvert. This project with Create totally put me at ease. I found it very easy to talk to the other people. I just loved every minute of it. Each week I’d be apprehensive, and then within five minutes I forgot about any inhibitions and just sat down and enjoyed myself. The project has taught me to challenge myself and try things that I’m not comfortable with.”

The project is supported by First Sentier Investors and the exhibition is held at Care for Carers Edinburgh. The event promises to be an enriching experience for all attendees and serves as a reminder that the creative arts have the ability to give a voice to those who may often go unheard.

Create’s Founding Chief Executive, Nicky Goulder, commented: “I am excited and delighted that the talents of this dedicated group of unpaid adult carers are being showcased at this exhibition in Edinburgh. We designed this partnership project during lockdown to provide a creative outlet for adult carers from Edinburgh and Glasgow, helping to reduce isolation and enhance wellbeing. These amazing individuals give so much to their loved ones and being able to bring them together in person after so many years is going to be moving and inspiring. It’s wonderful that such strong friendships have developed. Our thanks go to First Sentier Investors for making this project possible.”

learn about creative:voices