Young Carers in Torbay have been using new art skills to create a flag to symbolise their aspirations for the future.

The flag was unveiled at a celebration of art and drama at Living Coasts on Wednesday night along with other pieces the young carers have been working on for the past 4 months.

Since April the young carers have been working with a volunteer artist, Rhiannon Poole, learning and developing new art and drama skills as well as going on inspiration visits to the Tate Gallery in London and this year’s National Festival.

All of their work was created a fortnightly art group called Art Mania, which is specifically for young carers, and is based at the Cool House in Torquay.

The artist, Rhiannon Poole, who is a graduate in 3D Design at Falmouth University had previously worked with the Learning Curators at Tate St Ives and approached the Young Carers Service to offer her services to support the young people. The project was funded by New Wave funding from RIO (Real Ideas Organisation). Rhiannon is now moving on to take up an MA in Education in Art Galleries and Museums at the University of London’s Institute of Education.

Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Children, Schools and Families, Councillor Ken Prichard said: “There are around 900 children in Torbay who look after family members who are suffering from illness, disability, mental health issues or who have substance misuse problems. Many do not even realise they are carers because they are just being a brother, sister, son or daughter.

"This can be a huge weight on small shoulders so projects like this, and the support they get from the Torbay Young Carers service is invaluable to them as it lets these young people have the chance to have some time off and be with people their own age.”

The flag will now be used at young carers celebration events and will continue to grow as other young carers add new squares showing their aspirations for the future.

More information about who the Torbay Council Young Carers Services are and who they support can be found at www.torbay.gov.uk/youngcarers.


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