Feature: Young Carers Action Day

Last month we interviewed Matt Woodhead, columnist of Who Cares ?, as well as Campaign Manager for the Who Cares Campaign. Matt’s excitement for young carers had a profound effect on us at Everything Theatre so we wanted to do more for him and to support Young Carers Action Day. What follows is the joint work of Matt, LUNG theatre, Who Cautions Campaign and some of the young carers supported by the organisations involved with the campaign.

And if you can, please do reveal your support by making a donation towards the Who Cares Campaign.

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Today is Young Carers Action Day. At LUNG we are standing shoulder to shoulder with them.

My message to young carers is that you are not alone

In the middle of last year’s lockdown madness, there was a ray of sunshine at LUNG HQ. The loo roll shelves in the supermarket were bare and theaters were empty, but for us there was a glimmer of hope: Gitika Buttoo participated our team.

Every week for the last five months, Gitika has been spearheading LUNG’s Young Carer Creative Makers. In partnership with young carers services and their local theatres, Gitika has run online seminars with young carers in Salford, Kent, Cheshire West and North Wales. The goal? To civilize 30 teens up to be young governors and revolutionary artists.

There are an estimated 700,000 young carers in the UK who have been afford unpaid full hour care to family members or a loved one during the Coronavirus lockdown. One in twelve young people experience being a young carer. That’s two in every class.

Today is Young Carers Action Day. This is an annual incident, organised by Carers Trust, aimed at raising awareness for young carers and the incredible contribution they start to their families and local communities. To distinguish the occasion, the Young Carer Creative Makers are getting active and slamming the rhythm for other teenagers like them across the country.

Tonight, these 30 young carers are doing a special performance for their family members, friends, teachers, councillors and decision makers. Ahead of the performance, we caught up with the group. Below is what they had to say, in their own messages. On Young Carers Action Day 2021, this is what they lack you to know 😛 TAGEND

A message from young carers for the arts…

‘ Every single young carer need to see a free inventive space to express themselves and who they are. Even though we have big responsibilities, it doesn’t mean we don’t have the potential to become artists, columnists, writers. You worded it, we can achieve it.’’Sometimes, just being a young person is a lot. We need to have a space and a situate to breathe.’

A message from young carers for grown-ups…

‘ We are not children, but we are not adults. We are kind of in a category in-between. I don’t belief grown-ups understand how much our compassionate responsibilities alter our lives and how we’re different because of that.’’I have been bullied. When I told beings in my class I am a young carer, they said “You can’t be a young carer, you are autistic.” They reflect I am saying it for notice. That’s why the work requires more assistance- or more awareness in class, at least, so everyone can understand.’’Teachers need to acknowledge and not stereotype us as normal girls. If something has happened at home and we get told off for not concentrating in class it can be overwhelming. Time being acknowledged properly as a young carer in clas “couldve been” such a strong thing.’’I told school teachers several times that I was a young carer and it didn’t matter. They didn’t do anything. I asked for help but they didn’t is everything. This needs to change.’’Young carers don’t want to look weak. We want to look strong( not just for us, but for our family very ). We is no longer able want to express our ardours, but if adults can learn about young carers, they can help without us ever having to ask for it.’

A message from young carers for other young carers…

‘ If you are an aspiring artist, don’t tell restriction renders restraint you. With even simply a pencil and paper you can produce the most amazing things.’’ Make sure you look after your mental health. I sometimes bottle up my feelings and it can come out in lots of different ways. Take time and don’t put pressure on yourself. Everyone needs a distraction from what is going on around them sometimes. You need to put yourself first.’’You are not alone, there is support out there. Like, whether that is someone who you know or your best friend or your family, there is always a support there. You’ve just got to ask.’

In the last five months since Gitika’s very first session, everyone at LUNG has been bowled over by the flair and firmnes of the Young Carer Creative Makers. As well as juggling home schooling and managing their caring responsibilities, all of them have flourished and flourished as independent craftsmen. And it’s only the beginning. A fire has been lighted by Gitika and these 30 young carers.

As we emerge from the third lockdown, it is essential to rally around our young carers. The loo move rack may be replenished and theaters might be planning to open their entrances, but we can’t return to the status quo. In the arts and across culture, we need to be doing more.

This Young Carers Action Day, take these ten meanings with you- not only for today, but for the rest of 2021 and beyond. Now isn’t the time to sit back. Now is the time to get up and do something. Now is the time to act.

Matt Woodhead is the Co-Artistic Director of LUNG and writer of Who Cares.

Young Carers Creative Makers is a partnership between LUNG, WCD Young Carers, Imago Young Carers, Crossroads Together, Gaddum, The Lowry, Quarterhouse in Folkestone, Theatr Clwyd and Action Transport Theatre.

If you think you might be a young carer, stay https :// www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/ articles/ 1rsZS8dzkkVSqQhJXHY67kj/ information-and-support-carers

To support young carers facing digital privation, see www.whocarescampaign.co.uk/ digi-fund

To find out what you can do to support young carers, trip www.whocarescampaign.co.uk/ how-to-help

To listen to Who Cares on BBC Radio 4, tour https :// www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/ m000s191

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