This five minute animation beautifully illustrates what it’s like to walk in the shoes of young carers

“Being a young carer can be a very lonely place, trapped between childhood and adulthood, few can relate.” These words from one young carer are included in an A-Z five minute stop-motion animation aimed at better understanding what it is like to walk in their shoes

a-z being a young carer

Last Thursday was Young Carers Day and OnTheWight were delighted to be invited by YMCA Young Carers to a special event at Quay Arts.

What is a Young Carer?
A young carer is a child or young person who cares for a person who has any type of physical or mental illness, physical and/or mental disability or misuses substances such as alcohol or drugs.

This could be their parent (s), a sibling or another family member.

Being a Young Carer is not just someone who does a bit of hoovering or pops down to the shop, they often have to provide emotional, financial (working with limited budgets and understanding the benefits system), as well as physical support.

Under the age of 18 this role is unpaid, and, depending on which part of the country you are in, with very limited support.

The evening was the culmination of a year-long youth social action project funded by the iWill fund and developed by Lauren Fry (who provides incredibly valuable support to young carers on the Isle of Wight).

Working with Lauren and Adam Gaterell (a poet, artist, and workshop facilitator) a group of young carers explored their experiences through poetry and illustration.

Click on images to see larger versions

Young carers share their thoughts during workshops
Young carers share their thoughts during workshops

As you can see below, their creative journey concluded with the production of a stop-motion animation and a zine to help professionals, peers, and people on the whole, better understand what it is like to walk in their shoes. 

Making the stop motion animation
Making the stop motion animation

Unsung heroes
We were blown away, not only by the work that has been produced by the young people, but for the incredible support they provide for their families, often at the detriment of their education or own emotional well-being.

Young carers share their feeling during workshops
Young carers share their feeling during workshops

Four Young Carers spoke eloquently and confidently, with a deep sense of honesty, to the audience before the film was screened. It was very clear that they are not looking for pity or sympathy, but instead an understanding of their personal situations.

YMCA Young Carers
The YMCA Young Carers service is currently supporting 282 amazing Young Carers on the Isle of Wight aged between five and 18-years-old.

The amazing A-Z Zines

Lauren explains,

“This caring responsibility whether physical and/or emotional can have a negative impact on the Young Carer in a number of ways including educational attainment, career opportunities and social isolation all leading to an increased likelihood of poor physical/mental health or well-being. 

“Due to the varying nature of Young Carers responsibilities, circumstances and levels of resilience our support for them is highly flexible and reactive.

“This includes one-to-one emotional support in school or in the community, access to a wide variety of respite activities and access to counselling.”

The creative leads
Lauren’s artwork and animation were produced under her freelance name, Studio Wren (see more of her work over on Instagram). You can see more of Adam’s work on his Adam Gaterell Arts Facebook Page.

Sunday, 2nd February, 2020 2:58pm



Filed under: Community, Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Youth

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