Inspirational Song Written and Performed by Young Adult Carers to Mark Young Carers Awareness Day Today, the Time to Shine Project is releasing a song written and performed by young adult carers for Young Carers Awareness Day on Thursday 30th January 2020. The day gives a voice to young carers and highlights the challenges and issues they face. The young adult carers (YACs) created and developed their own lyrics and song and produced a professional music video working with experienced musicians, singers, recording engineers and film makers in a project led and inspired by all those participating. The carers involved in the project are Sophie Ash, Jordan Bailey, Natasha Burrows, Jordan Davidson, Alannah Megan Jones and Kerryn Roughsedge. The song highlights the day-to-day experiences, difficulties and hurdles that young carers face combined with a positive message to encourage other young carers to speak up and reach out for help. The YACs also express why being with other young carers at their regular meet-up group is so important to them. The music project, working in collaboration with Care for the Carers, took six months to complete and aims to spread the word and raise awareness of young carers, as well as nurture new creative and singing skills. The finished song and video was premiered in Hastings, East Sussex, with an intimate performance by the YACs singing for their friends and family. One of the YACs involved, Alannah Megan Jones, says; "I have thoroughly enjoyed the Time to Shine project; it has given me the opportunity to express myself in a new way which without this project I would not have before.” “Creating the song and video has given me a lot more confidence and belief in myself. The project has given me a great understanding of music and how to produce a song and music video. It has encouraged me to want to try and learn a musical instrument as I now have a greater understanding of musical notes and the confidence to express myself in different ways.” “I hope the song will help other carers to realise they are not alone and that there are lots of other people in a similar situation. The song is a realistic example of carers daily lives, and I hope this will be a powerful tool to help educate and inform people about the lives of carers." Another YAC, Natasha Burrows, says,"I really enjoyed it because it brought a few of us closer and we got to know each other more. I loved doing the music project and song and gutted that it's ending. The song will help to identify other carers and show them that they aren't alone and to come forward and speak because it will be the best thing they have ever done!" The project was conceived and delivered by the co-founders of The Time to Shine Project charity, Alison Cooper and Michael Grant. Alison Cooper says,“We don’t usually work with children or young people but we both had a special place in our hearts and minds for young carers. Our projects are there to build confidence, improve relationships and to offer respite from difficult times, and we knew we wanted to engage with young carers at some point.” “Working with the YACs was very different for Micky and me. Usually our projects are very structured and we work hard on teaching the details of singing and harmony, but we soon realised that structure and working hard are what the YACs experience on a daily basis - and in fact what they needed was a safe space for fun, freedom and unanalysed, joyous singing!” Alison continues, “The YACs bloomed and we started getting creative. From the very beginning of the project it was clear that they were very excited about creating a music video and this became a major focus in the sessions. Following on from some discussions about their lives and experiences, the group felt strongly that they wanted the song to encourage other young carers to seek support networks similar to that provided to these young people by Care for the Carers. Their creativity flourished, and the lyrics and melody came together beautifully.” “We then had a couple of amazing days, one recording with a professional sound engineer where they all really came into their own, got serious and gave it all they had. Then we enjoyed a wonderful day filming around Hastings, East Sussex, had lunch together and shared some wonderful moments. It was a very special day for us all, we are so proud of their bravery, strength and teamwork." Jennifer Twist, Chief Executive, Care for the Carers says, “We were delighted that young adult carers were so enthusiastic about getting involved in this inspirational project. It has been a fantastic creative outlet for them, and the song and video they created with Time to Shine is incredibly moving and powerful. We hope you will join us in sharing the video far and wide to help get the young adult carers’ message out this Young Carers Awareness Day. We think it’s a perfect way to celebrate Young Carers Awareness Day and reach out to young carers who need help and support.” The music project is funded through a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The YACs attend a monthly group for carers aged 17 to 25 years in Hastings, East Sussex. As well as the monthly meetings, the young adult carers take part in a range of fun activities such as go karting, horseriding and fundraising events. Further information about young carers can be found on this article here. Care for the Carers’ Teen Talk counselling service in Hastings and Rother is for young carers, 12-18 years, just launched and is open for referrals. We also provide support to young adult carers, 16-25 years, including groups, 1-to-1 advice and support, and days out. If you are a young adult carer or young carer and need support, please contact us: phone: 01323 738390, email [email protected] or text 07860 077300.