Recent research from Carers Trust has found that 69% of young carers are feeling less connected to others since the pandemic, while 31% report a weekly increase of 30 hours or more in the time spent caring. Young carers in Southwark have had the chance to take a break from their caring responsibilities this summer with an online multi-arts project art:space. The art:space project was developed by creative arts charity Create, which British Land is delighted to support.
Create is the UK’s leading charity empowering lives and enhancing wellbeing through the creative arts. Its focus is on engaging the most marginalised participants in inspiring, sustainable arts programmes in areas where provision is poor and engagement in the arts is therefore low.
With hundreds of young carers living in Southwark, the art:space project has been designed to give these young carers, aged between eight and sixteen, time away from their caring responsibilities to invest in interactive creative arts activities. More than 20 young carers from Southwark took part this summer, all of whom are members of Imago, a local charity that provides support services to young carers in Southwark, based in Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.
The art:space project explores three different art forms including drama, visual art and music, and is taking place virtually for the first time. Activities will encourage the young carers to develop a variety of interconnected artistic and technical skills, while also boosting their self-esteem and wellbeing, and reducing their sense of isolation. The project has been run in conjunction with the shopping centre, and this digital pilot seeks to ensure that local young carers can still participate at time when needs are likely to be even greater.
Ian Moore, Centre Manager of Surrey Quays at British Land, said: “We have built a great relationship with both Create and Imago over the years, which has helped hundreds of local young carers take a break from their caring responsibilities through the arts. This year will be no different and we look forward to bringing even more young carers on board, especially at a time when interacting with others and supporting those in our local communities has never been so important.”
Nicky Goulder, Founding Chief Executive of arts charity Create said: “We love working with British Land on the art:space project. This creative project is especially important now, when the pandemic has made the lives of young carers across the UK even tougher. By reaching these young carers in Southwark with the power of the creative arts, we can give them time and space to express themselves, meet other young carers, and boost their sense of wellbeing. It is vital that, together, we make our young carers feel valued and supported, as they deserve.”
To find out more information about Create and its work, click here.