Ciaron, The Lowry, Salford Young Carers-True Partnership

Ciaron is a very inspirational young man who it is a pleasure to support. His involvement over a number of years with the Partnership Projects has seen him grow as a young man, developing his confidence, self esteem and illustrating him as a very caring person for all those around him. This is his blog, his explanation why the Partnership is so cool.

Throughout this project I have grown as a person as well as a carer.

Seeing everything come together  as well as my sister’s project as well. Watching them grow  alongside us made us feel so connected with it . The Project I am involved in is a verbatim play, and despite my prior prejudice and lack of knowledge of verbatim I have actually found the project quite amazing, it helps me express my feelings in a way that benefits me but also others as it can be represented within art that others can enjoy and find beneficial to hemselves.

Working with Matt allows me to talk about my experiences in life and reflect on them in a proud retrospective way. Then seeing it slowly manifest as a script composed with other people's life experiences and feelings makes me overjoyed on a level beyond anything I had ever felt before. It existing in itself is a victory worth celebrating.

The process of the play involves four different young carers/young adult carers all expressing our experiences and opinions on things like school, life, entertainment and most importantly caring.....then leaving it to the genius in adaptation, Matt, who transforms the entire thing into a dramatic masterpiece greater than all creation....maybe not that good but close!! Watching the whole thing on the big stage made me weep with joy........

My smaller sister a.k.a. Mara as a teenage girl has recently been involved with a project of her own which made me happier than even my own project. For very deep brotherly reasons seeing her up there in beautiful photography and reciting majestic poetry I found hit close to home for the 3rd annual young carers day collaboration between the Lowry and Salford Young Carers.

It was a massive milestone for her, and all of the group, and I'm ultimately proud of all she's done. It made me especially happy because she has a public speaking fear that she had to overcome as well as it being a personal issue. It really goes to show the power  it can have on people involved in the projects, people grow by being involved, so imagine the effects that the pieces of media can have on others.

In conclusion, I find it a wonderful experience that can be numinous and altruistic despite it being entirely human in essence, it overpowers me at certain times but I can't thank the Lowry enough.

About the project

The Alarm Rings, You Take a Breath, Then it Starts…

Sitting at the back of the bus, skipping the lunch queue and skiving lessons. At school Nicole, Jade and Connor are just like everybody else. But when they get home, things are very different.

Nicole started caring for her mum when she was four. Every morning Nicole helps her get washed, put on clothes and eat breakfast. Jade has always cared for her brother, but she never expected to look after dad as well – now she juggles two lots of appointments, two lots of prescriptions, two lots of assessment forms. Connor cares for his mum. But he doesn’t like to talk about it.

Adapted from real-life testimonies, this bold and pertinent piece of documentary theatre examines our failing system, the impact of austerity and what happens when a child becomes the parent.

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Who Cares embarks on a five-week, 27-venue national tour – culminating in a performance at The House of Lords in Westminster from 30 October- 5 December.

Who Cares is a gripping verbatim theatre production based on a year of interviews that offers a rare insight into a year in the lives of three young carers from Salford.  The play aims to help identify ‘hidden’ young carers in society and signpost them to support available through local young carers services.

Who Cares, was written by Matt Woodhead and co-produced by The Lowry and LUNG Theatre, who are Associate Artists at the Salford-based venue. It was made in partnership with The Gaddum Centre’s Salford Carers Service.

 The 27 youth settings across the country are non-traditional theatre spaces – these venues have been chosen in partnership with Onside Youth Zones – a national youth centre charity, Aldridge Education – the academy schools chain founded by Sir Rod Aldridge and local Young Carers Services across the country.

 #WhoCaresTour www.whocarestour.org.uk