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Making Memories in Carers Week

Posted on: 10th June 2022

Making Memories gave families who care, young carers and other Family Gateway users the chance to create. Those taking part worked alongside inspiring artists Theresa Easton and Theresa Poulton. Making Memories was part of Better Connect our social prescribing alliance in North Tyneside.

As it is #CarersWeek we wanted to celebrate the work of the people who took part in ‘Making Memories’ at The Howdon Hub alongside artists in residence Theresa Easton and Theresa Poulton with a pop up exhibition of projected artwork. Read on to discover more about what we’ve been up to.

Introducing the Family Gateway

The Family Gateway are based inside Howdon Community Hub and their team have created a welcoming place for families. The hub is a place to socialise, have fun and develop new skills. The Family Gateway are one of our #BetterConnect alliance partners. Better Connect is our social prescribing programme supporting carers to get creative and connect with the aim of improving their wellbeing.

Making Memories

Young carers were supported by Family Gateway staff to come along to ‘Making Memories’ workshops. These sessions gave young carers time to explore creative techniques like print making and creating artists’ books.

Crucially those taking part enjoyed a break from their caring responsibilities. Recent research from North Tyneside Carers centre shows that during the Covid 19 Pandemic most young carers took on more caring responsibilities. Many have continued to provide this increased level of support their parents or siblings. Having a break from these caring responsibilities is so important to individuals wellbeing. Self-care is something many carers struggle to prioritise. However, alongside other types of support it can help prevent things becoming unmanageable.

During these sessions we noticed teens smiling, laughing and demonstrating their incredible skills. It was wonderful to see them working alongside others who shared similar experiences and see them supporting each other.

Reaching Even More People

As part of their ‘Making Memories’ artists’ residency Theresa Easton and Theresa Poulton finished their project with a week of drop in activity for all hub users. This was a very important part of the project making sure we helped those with the greatest need to connect. Perhaps they felt too busy to book, were anxious about trying something new or didn’t recognise that they were carers.

Many people don’t recognise that they are carers. They just see themselves as a husband, wife, partner, parent, child or friend of someone who depends on them. These people may not have chosen to access  the projects that ran as part of #BetterConnect.

The drop in activities created a space where people could chat with Theresa Easton and Theresa Poulton. Together they made a book sharing a little bit about their lives, connections to Howdon and The Hub.

We are delighted that some of the people who took part continue to visit the hub making use of its facilities and taking part in regular activities. For instance one lady who cares for her husband is now an active member of the The Hub’s cooking programme.

Shining a Light on Carers

This week we’ve headed back to Howdon Hub. This time to project images of the work created during Making Memories around the building. Unfortunately the gorgeous sunshine scuppered our plans to project outside on this occasion but future pop up projections are going to be happening until the end of June across North Tyneside. Follow our socials to keep updated on the details.

We want to make sure carers are visible, valued and know they can be supported by organisations like the Family Gateway, Helix Arts and our Better Connect Alliance members.

#CarersWeek #BetterConnect