meet ava and luisa: “WE CREATED A MASTERPIECE!”
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.
LEARNING SOMETHING NEW
“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.
LETTING GO THROUGH CREATIVITY
“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.”
“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.