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Celebrating the Carers!

A Spring Celebration

St Bridgid’s Day this year was marked by a special event to celebrate the first year of the Creative Carers Programme. Artists Justin Grounds and Sarah Ruttle organised a celebratory evening in Debarra’s Folk Club Clonakilty with live performances by musicians Lewis Barfoot, Eva Coyle and Liz Clark, fun creative activities and nibbles for all to enjoy. The event was attended by Creative Carers participants, members of the Arts for Health artists and administrative teams and West Cork health care professionals from Community Hospitals and Day Care Centres. It was a joyous evening of music, conversation, poetry and polaroids!

What is Creative Carers?

The Creative Carers Programme was launched in 2022 to provide enjoyable social and creative engagement opportunities for family carers – people who provide care for a loved one in the home. Managed by Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre as part of Arts for Health Partnership, the programme is currently delivered by composer and musicain Justin Grounds and visual artist Sarah Ruttle. In it’s first year, the aim was to better understand the experience of carers in the community and to design a programme of activities that caters to the creative and cultural interests and needs of its participants.

Creative Carers was delivered in four strands in 2022 to give the family carers different ways to access the arts:

  • Creative Carers at Uillinn – a activity workshop series exploring visual art techniques, held on Wednesday evenings at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre.
  • In the Picture – dementia friendly gallery tours for people living with dementia and their family or professional carers.
  • Creative Carers @Home – a series of 6 one-to-one creative sessions with a professional artist at home. Designed to open conversation on art and culture in the home, through shared creative activities for family carers and the person they care for.
  • Community Outreach – stand alone workshops in community and local resource centres and to engage in an arts activity while raising awareness about the Creative Carer programme and other support services.

In its first year Creative Cares involved 3 creative workshop series, led 2 in the Picture sessions, worked with 4 families @Home and ran 3 outreach workshops – all culminating in the celebration last Wednesday evening!

In 2023 Arts for Health hopes to continue work with the HSE and local development workers to invite and reach out to more family carers across the West Cork community.

Get Involved

The next Creative Carers at Uillinn workshop series runs from 22 February – 29 March. Click here for more information.

For more information about any aspect of the programme, please get in touch on 028 22090 or

Participation is free for all activities – booking essential.