Young carers create stories

Cramlington Young Carer Tia Irwin aged 9 as Grandpa John.
Cramlington Young Carer Tia Irwin aged 9 as Grandpa John.

Young carers from south east Northumberland are working with artists and musicians to create stories about their lives, learn new skills and raise awareness.

The 40 young carers will this week showcase some of the work they’ve made to friends and family, including a photography exhibition, a short film, music and performances at Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project (CVYP), to mark National Carers Week.

The group have tried their hand at DJ skills with composer and turntablist Mariam Rezaei, creative writing with Ian Dowson, photography with Phyllis Christopher and songwriting with Gem Andrews, as well as making a documentary with filmmaker Matt Jamie, and devising short performances based on their lives with Rachel Glover and Roisin Crowley Linton from Live Theatre.

Josh Bell, 12, from Cramlington, said: “I hate drama at school, but it’s not like school here – we’ve done our own thing, and we got to choose. I enjoyed doing the music sessions most. It was hard, but we worked together to come up with ideas.”

The project is a partnership between bait in south east Northumberland - part of the national Creative People and Places programme, Live Theatre and Cramlington Voluntary Youth Centre.

Lisa Blaney, Arts for Health programme manager at bait, added: “Our mission is to work with partners to increase arts participation and wellbeing in South East Northumberland.

“The young carers project is a great example of how this works – funded by NCC Public Health, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Arts Council England, staff from CVYP and Cramlington Learning Village worked with the team from Live Theatre to offer a quality experience to the young carers group.”

Visit www.baittime.to for details.