Carers' Week special

two young carers standing and smilling in front of a colourful artwork in the background

Carers' Week runs from 7-13 June 2021, and we are highlighting a very small selection of member organisations who support carers with their work. If your organisation is involved in creating cultural provision for families or older generations, you might want to consider applying for the Fantastic for Families Awards from the Family Arts Campaign (deadline 21 July).

LENs Director and London champion Mah Rana wrote a blog early in lockdown about her experience of using creativity as a carer. Mah explains that

Finding ways of creating well-making spaces and being creative, whether it’s in our home or online, can help us connect with others, objects, and ourselves.

Angela Awuah founded her own organisation Mental Health the Arts after her own experience of using dance to help her manage her caring responsibilities. She has blogged for Carers' Week on 'Making Caring Visible and Valued'.

According to Carers UK, 74% of carers are feeling exhausted and worn out from caring during the Covid-19 pandemic and 79% of carers have not been able to take any, or sufficient, breaks. In response, Carers UK is calling on the government to increase funding and support for carers so that they can take sufficient breaks for their caring roles.

You can also listen to MHTA's podcast here. The Alzheimer's Society is currently running a campaign to fix the social care system based on the experiences of carers seeking support.

Create, which runs creative arts projects with young carers and other people facing particular challenges, are sharing stories of three young carers and the impacts of creativity on their lives. It is running a fundraising drive to support their work this week, with every donation doubled.

Suffolk Artlink, who are also the CHWA arts champions for the east of the country, Suffolk Artlink, who are also the CHWA arts champions for the east of the country, run a range of programmes for family carers, including Around the Table – offering adult carers the opportunity to explore food, creativity and culture, gaining respite from their caring role, developing new support systems, building confidence and a new sense of passion and achievement.

Cupcakes with sugar mushroom decorations
Suffolk Artlink's Woodbridge workshop, Baking and Decorating Cupcakes / Food Styling with Lindsay Wright & Jemma Watts

iID (Inclusive Intergenerational Dance) produces creative projects and weekly movement, music and visual art sessions for people of all ages, but are specialists in working with older adults and people living with long term health conditions and their carers. You can read a case study of their work during lockdown here.

You can watch a video put together by the British Library and Care Visions here for their "Unlocking Our Sound Heritage" project during lockdown. Care Visions are a local organisation working in Camden delivering a range of services to support families living with dementia.