Creative Carers

We are a four-membered group of Fine Art students, currently in our final year. The advantage of being such a diverse group of young people, of different social-cultural backgrounds, has led to an innovative and creative atmosphere. As a group we have acquired a variety of skills within and beyond our discipline, our practices extend over a broad spectrum within the arts: painting, sculpture and installation-art. We have all independently participated in creative activities and art projects within local communities, our aim is to motivate and inspire. Our passion for art and commitment to the community is what brought us together. Our group is unique, as despite all members undertaking a Fine Art degree, we all specialise in a different subject area; providing us with the skills needed to develop a wide range of creative activities for the young carers. All members of the group previously completed safeguarding training as volunteers with LUSU (Lancaster University Student Union). Some of the skills we share as group include: excellent time management, organisational skills, reliability, good communication skills and a passion for wanting to improve the lives of young carers. Elizabeth Lindley has volunteered with a local Rainbows group for 3 years, supervising weekly sessions and running creative activities. She has taken part in delivering various LUSU run, in-school creative activity days, including teaching children aged 9­10 about a range of art movements. She has assisted in organising and delivering creative activities linked to exhibitions in Lancaster city centre, delivering a full day art workshop for a school group as well as a follow up activity day for the general public (part of Campus in the City). Lauren Hollowday is the currently head of the volunteer programme at Lancaster Arts; her role also includes working at the Lancaster Arts box office and front of house. She has worked with Messy Gallery and Noisy Gallery at events for the under 5’s, showing appropriate skills for working with children. Alongside this, Lauren has worked with LUSU schools, and Campus in the City where she carried out art and pottery workshops with school children. Her organisational skills learnt through running these sessions will be of great use when planning workshops. As we are planning an exhibition, Lauren’s skills curating an exhibition at the Peter Scott Gallery as part of the Look/15 Liverpool International Photography festival will be highly relevant. Lucy Micklefield describes her art practise as abstract painting and focusses on being expressive and full of movement, which will help keep the workshops fun and interactive for the young carers, particularly the painting workshop. Having undertaken numerous work experience placements within schools and undertaken the LUSU Creative Arts voluntary project, she is able to engage children to ensure they are comfortable and interacting in all activities. Lucy has also run a Graphic Design afterschool club for secondary school pupils to help develop their skills; these workshops included developing a pop­up book and dolls houses using laser cutting. Her previous experience working with this age group is essential as workshops can be meticulously planned to suite the specific needs and desires of the young carers. Melanie Stavrou has a wealth of experience in developing exhibitions, having previously displayed work in Birmingham, Lancaster and Cyprus. She also participated in LUSU Creative Arts with Lucy and Elizabeth where together they developed a workshop with Year 3­4 children with a follow up session in the Peter Scott Gallery. Melanie has also run dance lessons in Cyprus, and her confidence is key to engaging all the children. She is also great at leading warm up exercises which are both enjoyable, and help everyone to get to know each other.
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