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Carers get a breather at Bethnal Green to create artwork and make a film

PUBLISHED: 17:26 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:45 02 November 2017

On display at Bishopsgate, artwork from Tower Hamlets Carers' centre project in Stepney. Picture: Create

On display at Bishopsgate, artwork from Tower Hamlets Carers' centre project in Stepney. Picture: Create

Create Art

Adult carers have been taking time off from looking after relatives to film a documentary on the history of immigrants in London’s East End.

Carer Ivy Thomas (right) is shown how to make the best of a picture with her camera from Create charity's professional photographer Camilla Greenwell. Picture: Create Carer Ivy Thomas (right) is shown how to make the best of a picture with her camera from Create charity's professional photographer Camilla Greenwell. Picture: Create

They joined in workshops at Tower Hamlets carers’ centre in Bethnal Green run by professional artists from Create arts charity which gave them a rest from the pressures of caring.

“We hadn’t been able to run workshops ourselves for carers to have a break due to financial constraints,” the centre’s director Neil Hardy explained. “Then Create came along and answered our prayers!”

Photographer Camilla Greenwell has been teaching the carers to use memory and storytelling, which included a visit to Whitechapel Gallery and outdoor sessions to picture their neighbourhood in a new light.

The carer snaps up the photo tips she got from Create art organisation's professional photographer. Picture: Create The carer snaps up the photo tips she got from Create art organisation's professional photographer. Picture: Create

They have also worked on film-making project with producer Rohan Mehra to make a documentary about the history of east London’s immigration, and visual arts project about their community with artist Maru Rojas.

Create’s co-founder Nicky Goulder said: “The pressures of caring can prove detrimental to health.

“So it’s vital that systems are there to support carers to take time away from the emotional and practical stresses of caring and have vital ‘me’ time.”

Visual arts project at Bethnal Green's adult carers' centre. Picture: Create Art Visual arts project at Bethnal Green's adult carers' centre. Picture: Create Art

The not-for-profit organisation’s learning programme gives carers an environment to develop their confidence to learn skills.

One care who took part said: “This gives you an incentive. I’m a carer for my father-in-law and have really, really enjoyed doing something for ‘me’ for a change.

“Carers need more projects like this because it’s the only chance we get to do anything like this.

“It’s made me feel like I can actually do something, like taking a good snapshot.”

The two-month programme ended with a display of their work at the Bishopsgate offices of Reed Smith international law firm which funded the workshops.

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