Last month, The Olds Courts welcomed a group of Young Carers into our building as part of Young Carers Creative Makers. Led by LUNG Theatre, this fantastic project pairs carers services with local arts venues access the country to create opportunities for young people to grow their leadership skills and foster creativity. With the aim to empower and give voice to their stories, LUNG theatre spent two days working with the group in our Community Room during their half term break.
In collaboration with Wigan and Leigh Carers Service, the young people were given a tour of our historic building, spent time working alongside LUNG Theatre facilitator, Madiha, on their Bronze Arts Award and got the chance to see a show in our theatre. Take a look at what the group got up to here!
What is a carer?
Three in five people will become a carer at some point in their lives. Which means that roughly 36,000 people in Wigan are currently carers. Most people don’t recognise is as a formal role and just see it purely as supporting and caring for a family member or friend that they love. For young carers, this can be a really demanding and incredibly isolating role to take on at such a young age. We think it’s vital that these voices are heard and are offered the right support and relief needed.
LUNG’s Co-Artistic Director Helen Monks says – “A young carer is a young person who undertakes unpaid care for a family member due to a disability, illness, mental health condition or addiction. 1 in 12 young people are young carers and the support they receive, both emotionally and financially, is dwindling therefore it is now more important than ever to be providing access to opportunities in which their voices can be heard and they feel valued. We hope this project is a catalyst for similar projects between theatres and young carers services across the UK.”
“This project is the perfect example of the transformative nature that a safe space to express creativity can be. I hope this project gave these young people a chance to see what a wealth of arts activity is happening in their home town and be inspired to take up space and be creative! It was a privilege to have such a talented group of young people in our building.” Beth Ellis, Projects Officer
Young Carers Action Day!
Celebrated on the 16th of March, Young Carers Action Day is a large scale nationwide event organised by the Carer’s Trust to raise awareness of the importance of young carers but also to highlight the struggles and resilience young people in these positions show. Please join us in sharing your stories alongside the hashtag #careformetoo to send a clear message to those in power that support is needed to help combat and alleviate stress on young carers. For more information and resource, see the Carers Trust website.
Interested in hearing more about the services provided by Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre? See here for more info.