Young Sunderland carers create blooming brilliant artwork

artist Michelle Wall, fifth from the left, with Lisa Watson, fourth left,

artist Michelle Wall, fifth from the left, with Lisa Watson, fourth left,

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Green-fingered youngsters have been getting their hands dirty to create a garden gallery thanks to a £1,000 grant.

Young people who devote their time to caring for friends and family took a break from their role to work with artist Michelle Wall to craft artworks for the garden at Sunderland Carers Centre in Southwick.

They were given the chance to get arty thanks to a grant from the Cultural Spring’s Your Art programme which helps communities to run their own art events,

Sunderland artist Michelle said: “I was aware of the amazing work these extraordinary young people do and really wanted an opportunity to work with them.

“I put together an application together with Sunderland Young Carers and received a £1,000 grant to put together a six-week arts course. We decided it would be a great idea to create a garden gallery at the centre and have been producing artwork to do just that.”

She added: “I came up with the garden gallery to showcase the creative talents of the young people and hopefully over time more carers and young carers can add their work to it and create a lasting and changing collaborative work of art.

“The idea behind the course has been an exhibition of Being Me. We started with asking the young carers to write a poem or prose about the life of a carer, then we did some more visual work. During phase three we worked on bringing out the personalities of the young people who were asked to bring on props that meant something to them.”

Lisa Watson, a carer services manager with Sunderland Young Carers, said: “There was some artwork in the garden, but it has been there a while and was looking a bit tired, so it’s great that it’s being updated.”

Your Art is designed to support community-led groups in the ten Cultural Spring wards in North Sunderland and South Tyneside. Funded by the Arts Council, the Cultural Spring aims to boost participation in the arts.