In honour of Salford Youth Day we’re taking a look at how the Arts can help increase confidence of young adult carers. Page Steers is part of our ‘Who Cares?’ project, which aims to create a piece of verbatim theatre examining the lives of four young carers living in Salford. Here is Paige’s experience…
My name is Paige, I’m 23 years old and I’m a young adult carer from Salford. I’ve been a recognised young carer for 13 years now. When I was 9, my dad had a road traffic accident that left him paraplegic. I also care for my older brother who is profoundly deaf and has learning difficulties. I started with Salford carers centre in 2003, and have transitioned through to young adult carers. The support to meet young people’s needs has changed dramatically over the years. One of the many benefits of this is working on projects with different businesses and organisations.
One of the projects I’m working on at the minute through the young carers service is a piece of theatre with The Lowry. Lynsey O’Sullivan from The Lowry and Matt Woodhead from LUNG are working with 4 young carers, helping put their words into a stage performance. I’m very lucky to be one of those young people whose words will be represented by actors on stage. Not only do we get to meet and have fun chatting about our lives, the difficult bits and the brilliant parts. We are also involved in the whole of the production from drawing out our ideas of how the stage should be set, to interviewing other people who will be involved.
So far, working on this project has helped me gain confidence both in talking to different people and recognising the skills I have. Being involved in this project has also taught me a lot about theatre and the process of putting a performance together.
One of the most prominent experiences I have had was back at the start of the project, we had to write a time line of things we wanted to do, wanted to achieve and things we wanted to have by the end of the year. Taking the time to sit, think and put down on paper things I wanted for myself and to do for myself was actually very difficult. I feel as well as raising awareness for young carers, all the transferable skills I have learnt, the pride of being part of such a huge project, the main thing I will take away from working with The Lowry in this group is the moment I realised I had more of an identity than just being a young carer and I recognised things I want to achieve for myself, and that it’s ok to do them, it doesn’t make me any less of a carer just more of a person.
Written by Page Steers
‘Who Cares?’ is being created in partnership with LUNG theatre, a Lowry Associated Artist. Watch the performance at The Lowry on ‘Tue 22 November
Book here to see Paige’s experience played out on stage in ‘Who Cares?’