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