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 Land, art: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.
“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.
“I NEVER STOPPED SMILING WHEN WE PLAYED MUSIC TOGETHER.”anna, young carer
“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.
“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!
art:space Cambridge is supported by British Land.