17 April 2015 – In a project spanning over four months, award-winning charity Create is working with young carers in Newham to explore their creativity through a range of artistic activities, from song writing to drama to printmaking. Young carers who attend Newham Carers Network – part of The Renewal Programme and Family Action Newham will experiment with these art forms under the guidance of Create’s professional artists as part of the charity’s extensive inspired:arts programme for young carers.

Generously funded by Network for Social Change Charitable Trust and The Queen’s Trust, the project has already seen young carers write, perform and record original music compositions and produce films. During April, they are turning their attention to drama with the help of Create’s drama artist James Baldwin, when they will explore different techniques as they create their own short pieces. The project will conclude in May with print making workshops led by artist Larry Achiampong who will assist the young people in designing and making their own original hats and accessories.

Half of young carers say they experience feelings of stress as a result of their caring role. inspired:arts has been designed to give them the chance to take a break from their caring responsibilities and to build supportive, trusting friendships with other young carers. The confidence, creativity and social skills that they develop in these workshops can then be taken back to their homes, schools and communities.

One young carer who took part in inspired:arts said, “Projects like these are important because, when you’re looking after people, you can lose a sense of being yourself. With these workshops you are able to grow certain skills like confidence, showing yourself and being unique. They actually really help you to understand more about yourself because when you look after someone, you care more about them and their wellbeing and you can forget who you are inside.”

Nicky Goulder, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Create commented, “Giving young carers an opportunity to take a break from the pressures of caring for a parent or sibling can be a lifeline. inspired:arts gives them the chance to take much needed ‘me time’ to develop their personal and creative talents, enabling them to expand their feelings of self-worth and confidence. I can’t wait to see what they produce.”