There are more than one million carers aged under 18 in the UK and an estimated 600,000 others aged 18 to 25, according to a 2023 Carers Trust study. The study further found that 56% of young carers said the cost-of-living crisis affects them and their family. Our change:matters programme uses the creative arts to upskills young carers about family finances.

In February 2024, Create musician Mike Poyser delivered a music project with young carers in Bromley. Over the course of three days, participants worked together to create pieces of music showcasing what they had learnt about finances.

We spoke to young carer, Avita (13) about her experience on the project and her role as a young carer. 


Avita’s time with Create has provided her with a much-needed break from her caregiving duties.

“I care for my mum. She has myasthenia gravis, like muscle weaknesses. It’s always ups and downs so I have to take care of her. Sometimes she’ll feel really energetic, but sometimes she won’t be. It’s different every day. And then when I was four, when my brother was born, it got really bad. So, I was looking after my little brother because my mum was always really ill. And my older brother was looking after her. I was changing my little brother’s nappies and I was cleaning him and stuff.”

Through Create’s project Avita has had the opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills.

“I’ve enjoyed that I’ve made some friends and it’s also given me a confidence boost with my music skills. I think this might make me start going to school [music] lessons. Everyone is really nice. It’s quite fun working with other people who I don’t know. Or people in my community. I know that they’re young carers as well, so I know it’s not just me and my brothers who are taking care of parents.”

Avita’s experience with Create has also provided her with financial literacy skills. “I really enjoyed learning about money and the way it works and how much things really cost and just adding it all up. By the end of the year it could cost so much. It’s really expensive, life now! Before, every time we go out, I’d want to get things, but now I realise that every little thing adds up.”

It’s going to help when we’re older, knowing about how things cost, and how to budget.


This resonates with the findings of Carers Trust, which highlights the growing concern among young carers regarding financial stability. Their research reveals that 57% of respondents admitted to “always” or “usually” worrying about the cost of living and the continuous increase in expenses.


“I do get to go out with my friends, but I have lots of things I have to do before I go out. I either clean the house or do dishes or laundry before I leave. If my friends ask me after school ‘can you go out?’, I just say ‘no’, because I know there’s loads of stuff I need to do as well. My friends have a lot of freedom, I don’t. But I do get a bit more freedom now my brother is older.”

“I always ask my friends questions about their life as well. So, my friends don’t really know how to cook. My friend says she eats pot noodles all the time if her parents aren’t home, but me and my brothers always make food. I taught my little brother how to make simple things like cakes. But I’ve really improved my cooking and cleaning skills. I think I have a lot more skills.”

“I feel ok [about my future]. I do like studying quite a bit and I’m quite an independent worker in school. But if I always have to take care of my mum, I feel there’s more to it than that. I might have an opportunity, I might not. “

This project was funded by The Chartered Accountants’ Livery Charity.