Thanks to funding from British Land, the arts charity Create has extended art:space, its creative arts programme for young carers, to Southwark. Working for the first time with KIDS Siblings Project Southwark, the multi-art form project culminated last week in two performances at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.
During January and February, different groups of young carers have been involved: photography produced by the first group (taken at venues including Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and Surrey Docks Farm) was used as inspiration for music activities, which has in turn been used as the soundtrack for dance participants to create original choreography. Last week’s performance showcased the music, dance and photography to an audience of friends, family and the general public.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that nearly a quarter of a million children in England and Wales are caring for a relative, whilst 27% of young carers aged 11-15 miss school and 68% experience bullying and social isolation. Many care for 50 plus hours a week – more than the average adult working week. Create uses the creative arts to help young carers develop trust, social skills and supportive relationships with their peers, enhance their self-confidence and self-esteem, and most importantly have fun away from their caring responsibilities in a safe, non-threatening environment.
Create’s co-founder and chief executive, Nicky Goulder said: “Thanks to continued funding from British Land, we are delighted to be working for the first time with youngcarers in Southwark. The project has given them an opportunity to get creative and have fun away from the responsibility of their caring duties. It is our huge privilege to give them this opportunity.”
Ian Moore, manager of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, said: “This is the first time Surrey Quays Shopping Centre has been involved in art:space and it’s been a joy to have the young carers visit and take photos of the centre.”