OUR ADULT CARER WORK IS CRUCIAL – AND SET TO GROW
Some of the most rewarding work we do at Create is with adult carers. According to Carers UK, one in eight adults (around 6.5 million people) are unpaid carers who look after family members and friends, and every day another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility. These numbers are enormous and, most worryingly of all, 80% of these people caring for loved ones say they have felt lonely or socially isolated.
“Create projects really help carers. we come away from the caring world to something different and it’s very special.”Aarchna, create participant
This is why our work is so important. Through our projects, we give adult carers the opportunity to take a break from their caring responsibilities, express themselves through creative arts activities, meet others who are also caring, and have fun. We know from speaking to our participants that being creative gives them hope, sparks their imaginations, and helps them see that they are not alone.
Aarchna from Harrow, who cares for her daughter who has mental health issues and her mum, told us: “As a carer, it’s a full-time job. Create projects really help carers because we come away from the caring world to something different and it’s very special. It gives you happiness. It takes away the isolation because otherwise you’re struggling on your own.”
So far in 2021/22 we have delivered 95 workshops with 140 adult carers across the UK, both in-venue and online through our Create Live! delivery mechanism. The carers have taken part in a host of activities: writing poems, songs and stories; making sculptures and tiles; writing and performing drama; taking photographs; painting and drawing; and making music.
Jack from Leeds, who cares for his wife, said: “After completing four weeks of writing, I’m stunned. I still can’t get over the fact I’ve written these poems. Doing something creative felt … ‘wow’ is the word that springs to mind.”
Expanding our work
“We are really excited to be working with Create on this exciting art for change project that will help carers across the UK.”Aleema Shivji, Comic Relief’s Executive Director of Impact and Investment
Thanks to a major new grant from The Smiles Fund by Walkers and Comic Relief, we will be able to reach even more people like Aarchna and Jack between 2023 and 2026. We have been awarded funding to expand our creative:voices project to enable us to reach more than 480 adult carers across UK, working in partnership with 18 adult carer services. We’re really excited about the positive impact this funding will have on increasing numbers of adult carers.
Aleema Shivji, Comic Relief’s Executive Director of Impact and Investment, said: “We are really excited to be working with Create on this exciting art for change project that will help carers across the UK. The panel were really pleased to be able to support the plans to engage people in creative activities to improve their mental wellbeing, at a time when many experience social isolation, uncertainty and loss.
“Create’s emphasis on providing flexible support which nurtures people’s individual creativity resonated with a number of our panel members who also have caring responsibilities. We look forward to working with Create to expand their service over the next two and a half years, and share their learning with other organisations using the arts to support people’s mental wellbeing.”
Our Chief Executive, Nicky Goulder, commented: “This incredible funding from The Smiles Fund is the second largest grant we’ve ever been awarded at Create and I am so appreciative of such crucial support. Adult carers have never been more isolated and our work with them has never been more important. It is an incredible feeling, knowing that we’re going to be able to impact so many carers’ lives over the next 30 months.”
If you would like to join Comic Relief in supporting our work with adult carers and other isolated, disadvantaged children and adults, please consider giving us a monthly gift.