Project 24 GOES LIVE!!!
North Tyneside Young Carers take to the stage to perform Project 24: A Day in the Life of a Young Carer!!
All the hard work and dedication paid off for a group of young carers, registered with North Tyneside Carers' Centre, as they showcased a poignant and thought provoking piece of home grown drama at Newcastle's prestigious Live Theatre this week.
Since August 2017 when the young people first came together as a group, they have been working with Community Drama Practitioner, JonLuke McKie and Community Artist, Faye Oliver; attending workshops to develop their art and performance skills. Most of the young people had little or no previous art of performance experience.
Under the guidance of our very own Activities Co-ordinator, Steph Durkin, as Director and Sessional Support Worker, Olvina Gkegka, as Assistant Director, the young people conceived, wrote and developed the piece.
Project 24 represents 24 hours in the life of a young carer. Young carers have the same number of hours in a day as any other young person HOWEVER they have so much more to manage within those hours than young people who do not have those caring responsibilities.
Through drama the young carers landed a powerful punch. Their message to an invited audience of senior professionals and decision makers from areas including Education, North Tyneside Local Authority and Health & Social Care was:
"We want YOU to tell us that emotional support is just as important as practical support"
A Question and Answer session followed the performance, in which professionals posed questions to a panel of young carers.
In response to the question:
"What one thing could professionals do to make things easier for you?"
One young carer responded:
"Services assume that because you've got support as a carer then you're 'sorted' and don't need their help! Professionals need to remember they're working with people's lives and people's lives go on all the time, not just 9 - 5".
"Go to schools and explain to children what a young carer is".
Project 24 marks the launch of a new way of working; engaging young carers in social action and, although it is the first, it certainly won't be the last example of our young carers taking social action!
Project 24 has been jointly funded by Northumberland Tyne and Wear Community Foundation as part of the Youth Social Action Fund's #iwill campaign. The campaign is a UK-wide initiative aiming to get 6 out of 10 young people involved in social action by 2020.
Big Lottery Fund and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport have invested £20 million each to the #iwill fund to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. UK Community Foundations partnered with the fund to support this at a local level.
The project has helped North Tyneside Carers' Centre to lever in further funding through Comic Relief, to continue this exciting kind of work, enabling the Centre to engage young carers in social action over the next three years.
So watch this space!!
Project 24 also celebrates the Centre's 24th birthday this year!!