Paige lives in Salford and is a carer for her dad who is wheelchair bound and her brother who is profoundly deaf and also has learning difficulties. Paige has been receiving support from Salford Young Carers service for many years and through their relationship with The Lowry has taken part in numerous creative projects.
"Using creativity as a way to talk about how I feel has been a big learning curve for me- its taught me how to focus my thoughts and articulate my emotions in a new way. Being able to explain how you feel in a safe environment where no one judges and at then use your experience to educate people about young carers its therapeutic for me."
"Also by listening to young carers talk about their experiences makes me realise I’m not on my own. Benefits me personally because the more people that understand young carers means more understanding/more support for young carers. Then also benefits young carers. Using yourself as a voice for other young people in a similar situation."
"There might be people who see our play or watch our films that are caring for someone but they don’t understand what they are, they don’t know they are a young carer. My Life without these projects without a shadow of a doubt would be very different. I wouldn’t be alive today without the support I’ve had."
Paige, Young Carer, Salford
Through this work The Lowry engages Young Parents from across Salford, working in partnership with Salford City Council to offer creative activities in local Sure Start Centre’s that support school readiness and creativity in approaches to literacy and parenting.
Through this work young parents have written and published their own children’s story book and engaged in hundreds of hours of creative activities as well as trips to the theatre and backstage tours.
David starting working with The Lowry through the Young Parents project; which aims to support young Mums and Dads to use creative activities as a way to promote positive interaction and learning through play. Working with professional artists, David learnt new skills and built confidence around using music, dance, storytelling and visual art with his four children; as a way to strengthen relationships, improve literacy and share positive experiences as a family.
During the project David’s confidence and enthusiasm for creativity soared. With support from The Lowry and Salford City Councils Young Parents Team David was trained to become a leader in the group; supporting the delivery of the project alongside staff and contributing his own ideas that aimed to engage other young fathers who were new to the group.
Since then David has decided that he wants to use these experiences to benefit other children and young people from his local community and has successfully gained employment as a Youth Worker for Salford Council based in the Youth Centre on the estate where he lives.
“The Lowry and the Young Parents group has boosted my confidence so that I finally changed my mind and saw it was possible to be who I wanted to be. It’s taught me to say ‘Yes’ to opportunities when they come along. I nearly said no to The Lowry, I thought it wasn’t for me. But it’s helped my kids and my family out loads and they’re well proud of me now. The kids I’m working with now live on my estate and think the same things I used to think. They don’t like drama and games and stuff, but now I know that it’s not what you think. There’s a way it can make you better and I want to show them that.”
David, Young Parent, Salford
Looked After Children
Much of this work encourages them to use the arts as a personal development tool, which challenges and supports them to be the best that they can be. By making and sharing their own creative work and ideas these young have a platform to express their thoughts and feelings about the wider world through music, dance, drama or art.
It’s been 5 years since I did my first project at The Lowry and it has changed my life because I’m really different to how I used to be. If it wasn’t for these people I don’t know what would of happened to me. It’s my home.
Luke 18, LAC Salford