The second Cross Generation Project brought together 23 young carers and 9 adults for an activity day of quizzes, a drumming workshop and poetry writing. It led on to a three-day event involving singing, playing instruments and more poetry. Young carers are just like any other young person but with the addition of having caring responsibilities within their family. The Young Carers Project supports young people between the ages of 5 and 21.
Carers expressed their feelings about their caring roles, and helped by local poet Mark Thomson, they turned some of their poems into lyrics for a song. The final Cross Generation Presentation Event was held in April, in partnership with a local studio – ‘Showcase the Street’. The event enabled participants to present their poems and song – ‘Try Being Me’. This was launched at the event with the CD cover designed by them also. Participants received certificates and played the song live on air that afternoon. Being involved in such new and challenging experiences built confidence, self-esteem and social skills, for the young carers in particular. However all age groups had opportunities to develop new skills and build relationships.
The enthusiastic adults who participated have offered to be ‘ambassadors’ to persuade others to become involved in future activities. The high profile event has also allowed the Centre to build a clearer profile of its services and create enthusiasm for future activities.
Through playing the song, Wave 102 radio station raised awareness of young carers and the help available through the Centre.
- Plan and organise varied activities over a longer timescale
- Identifying dates to fit around caring roles
- Be inclusive by working with minority groups from the start
- Create some quiet time for adults, and space for the young people to be active
- During recording sessions consider varied activities for different age groups
Dundee Carers Centre aims to improve the lives of carers through practical and emotional support, advocacy, training and information about services, rights and benefits. It is part of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, a network of carers’ centres throughout the UK, which raises awareness of carers’ issues with the government, media and the general public.