Tag Archives: kids

Young Carers Get Creative

Animation 1

Story by Rosie Hurley 

A couple of weeks ago a group of our young carers had the chance to get creative with professional animators.

The project was run by the national arts charity Create, whose programme art:space allows young carers to step away from responsibilities and have fun learning new skills. Working alongside SouthGate shopping centre in Bath, and funded by British Land, art:space helped our young carers to produce their own short animated film from 27-29 July.

The film, called ‘Ninja’, looked like great fun to make, and definitely shows off the skills the young carers learnt. It experiments with different animation techniques, and involved drawing charcoal images and then photographing them, before rubbing them out and redrawing them again for the stop-motion animation effect. To animate the abstract shapes and patterns they used computer software which resulted in an impressive multi-form film. The film is available to watch on YouTube. Continue reading Young Carers Get Creative

Family Time: Bath City Farm

The beautiful view surrounding our carers as they enjoyed Meeting the Romans at Bath City Farm
The beautiful view surrounding our carers as they enjoyed Meeting the Romans at Bath City Farm

Last week, carer families had the chance to have a break when we took them to ‘Meet the Romans’ at Bath City Farm. We were blessed with amazing sunshine and a beautiful view over the rolling hills of the city.

Once we were in the farm, our carers explored what life was like in a Roman Bath. The children got to create mosaics, make sundials, eat Roman food, see real-life artefacts and even chat to a Roman Gladiator. Then our carers had a fantastic time exploring the farm and seeing all the animals. The pygmy goats were a definite favourite but I personally loved Rufus, the Gloucester Old Spot boar!

After all this sightseeing, we stopped for a spot of lunch at the fabulous Trough café. The Carers’ Centre provided each family member with a £5 food voucher to make our families lives that little bit easier. We all enjoyed looking at the Bath landscape as we ate, and all felt really lucky to be there on such a lovely day!

As always, it’s so great that we as a Centre can treat carers to a fun day out as a family. Having the chance to get out in the sunshine and do something different like meet the Romans is worth so much to carers, and it’s wonderful to know we’re helping to relieve their caring role, even if it’s just for a few hours. Bath City Farm had so many fun activities on offer, and the carers really got a lot out of the day.

Planning our Family Day activities can be challenging, but the hard work always pays off once we see the smile on the faces of a family caring full-time. We had a blast at Bath City Farm and can’t wait for the next activity – hope to see some of you there!

The Benefits of Arts and Crafts

watercoloursWhen some people hear the word ‘art’, they may think of classrooms filled with children wielding paintbrushes or pompous ‘artistes’ in front of empty canvases. But for carers, art means so much more than just paint; it’s about expressing creativity, getting out of the house, and doing something new.

A recent study shows that art can “improve well–being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones”, showing the amazing benefits of creative activities. Art has even been shown to reduce the chances of depression, stress and anxiety, because it increases positive emotions while reducing distress.

According to the study, carers who engage with our art groups may also see “improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks”. Social networks are so crucial in fighting isolation, which so many carers struggle with due to their caring role.

At the Carers’ Centre, we are highly aware of the health benefits art therapy can provide, which is why we hold regular Art breaks for both young and adult carers. We run an arts group every other Wednesday for our Young Carers, who have the chance to explore creative mediums such as photography, clay and paint. Over half term our Young Carers enjoyed a drama and storytelling workshop; a more physical way to express fresh ideas and creativity.

For adults, our current breaks programme is filled with arty groups, where carers can explore a huge variety of different art styles and techniques. We have a watercolour painting course, willow weaving, pottery, glass blowing and patchwork all coming up in the next three months, so there is truly something for everyone.

If you’re a carer and would like to take part in these groups, or if you want to donate so we can keep supporting carers through art projects, please call our centre at 01761 431388.

Saltford Santa Dash 2015

Our adult Santas at the starting line
Our adult Santas at the starting line

It was a sea of red and white in Saltford this weekend as the annual Saltford Santa Dash took place. This year saw a huge host of Santas and mini-Santas run a 5 mile fun-run through the beautiful lanes of Saltford, all to raise money for charity. This year, the proceeds were halved between Time2Share and the Carers’ Centre.

The mini-Santas set off at 10am after a wonderful welcome from Alex Lovell, presenter of BBC Points West. It was adorable and even heart-warming to see so many young people running to support charities which help other children going through a difficult time. Running a mile in December isn’t easy for anyone but the children were amazing and there were a lot of proud parents cheering them on all the way!

Next was the adult Santa race which saw a host of Santas run a figure-of-eight course through the picturesque lanes of Saltford.  There was such a great atmosphere at the event, with many Santas laughing the whole way. This was helped by the fantastic marshals and helpers, who were on hand with hot drinks, light refreshments and a smile for everyone taking part.

With the money raised from the Dash, the Carers’ Centre can continue providing support, advice and breaks for unpaid carers in the BANES area. We support many carers from Saltford, so the support is even closer to home than many events. We are extremely thankful that organisers of the Dash chose to support our charity and we would like to thank every single Santa that ran – you’re amazing!

Growing Creativity – Our Young Carers ‘Arts Award’ Evening

The logo for the nationwide 'Arts Award' project our Young Carers are taking part in
The logo for the nationwide ‘Arts Award’ project our Young Carers are taking part in

Last night was my first experience of our ‘Arts Award’ – an after-school club for young carers held in our very own Woodlands building. We run two arts award clubs on a fortnightly basis, one for children aged 5-11 and one for young adult carers aged 14-17. This gives young carers the chance to get away from their caring role and enjoy a creative space with other kids who are just like them.

First up was a manic half hour where the children worked on their art books; some drew pictures while others stuck in photos. That sounds simple enough, but with seven of them all working on different things and shouting at each other it got hectic pretty fast! Then we had a quick snack before delving into our main activity: a photo quiz.

Steve (our young carers’ officer) had taken pictures of objects around our Woodlands building and the kids had to take exactly the same pictures, trying to copy the original image as close as possible. Every single detail had to match, which was hard to achieve when half of them were bouncing around the place! It really challenged our young carers to find the objects, achieve the right angle and stand still enough to take a non-blurry pic. Finally, we had a quick run through of the pictures, chose a winner, and the kids went home happy, leaving us with the clearing up!

Despite the mayhem had such a fun time, and the children clearly got a lot out of their activities – it’s so great to put a smile on the faces of young children going through a really hard time. Can’t wait till the next one!