Over the summer holidays, young carers in Richmond had the opportunity to participate in a multi-arts project designed to give them creative and social time away from their caring responsibilities.

The project was run as part of Create’s inspired:arts programme, which brings creative arts workshops run by the charity’s professional artists to young carers, aged 11-17, in England.

The project is working with young people who attend Richmond Carers Centre. In August, the young carers explored two artforms: jewellery-making with designer Hayley Kruger and photography with photographer Adele Watts.

There are over 700,000 young carers in Britain, who on average take on 17 hours of caring responsibilities per week, with some spending more than 50 hours per week on their caring duties.

School holidays can be a difficult time for young carers - for many, without school’s daily routine, increased time at home equates to an increase in time caring for a relative.

The Department of Education’s February 2016 Report ‘The Lives of Young Carers in England’ states: “Holidays were particularly challenging for most young carers due to an increase in their caring responsibilities at home and the lack of opportunity to take breaks to engage in other activities both inside and outside the home.

A young carer who took part in the project said: “When I came I never thought I’d be able to make jewellery but now I can. I’ll be able to use my knowledge to make jewellery when I’m bored. I felt happy when everyone talked to me and listened to my ideas.”

Create’s Co-Founder & Chief Executive, Nicky Goulder, said: “Participating in creative activities is a great way of expressing yourself and socialising. School holidays can be a period of heightened responsibility for young carers and respite from their duties as carers is important for their wellbeing.

“Our inspired:arts programme offers an environment for self-expression, socialising, building confidence and having fun. The jewellery and photography created by the young carers in Richmond is fantastic!”