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Creative Carers

Creative Carers is a community-based strand of the Arts for Health Partnership Programme in West Cork, initiated in 2022. The programme creates opportunities to engage with the arts, for and with family carers. The diverse and inclusive programme, delivered by professional artists from various disciplines, takes place at carers’ homes, in arts spaces, and in community settings across the region. 

The programme welcomes family carers who care for an older adult, or who are themselves an older adult, and aims for participants to benefit from a blend of arts and health objectives including access to the arts and artists practice, peer support, community network building, and creative engagement. 

Creative Carers is delivered in many different forms. This is to ensure that family carers have as many access points into the programme as possible. All strands are delivered by artists with a high level of expertise working in an arts and health context.

“I loved how they (the artists) invited me to other carers events. No judgement, a chance to escape the carers duties and forget your worries.”   “Warm, friendly atmosphere. Being encouraged to relax and let go. It was very freeing and forgiving, a whole new experience.”  – Participants in Community Event

“Myself and my father (Ted) absolutely loved the artist’s weekly visits. It was a beautiful journey of music, memories and swapping of stories… It also brought me out of the humdrum of caring into a lovely space of connection.”  “Ian is so happy after his music session and the joy it brings into our home is immeasurable so long may this programme continue in West Cork.”Participants at Home

“I enjoyed every part. I especially liked the playing around with the words and wire art.” “It was time for me and everybody was so helpful.” Participants at Arts Centre

Creative Carer Series

Creative Carer Series

weekly group workshops exploring visual art or music in a social and relaxed way, delivered by artists in an arts or community setting.

Creative Carers at Home

Creative Carers at Home

a series of one-to-one sessions with an artist to research and investigate ways to embed creative engagement in our lives.

Bringing Art Home

Bringing Art Home

Bringing Art Home continues a legacy of remote working to reach those who are not able to leave their home. Artist led-project that invites participants to collaborate on a given idea to invite creative engagement via the post.

Carer Events

Carer Events

organised with community coordinators to present once off events in community spaces such as drop-in workshops, concerts, exhibitions, and information check-in points.

CREATIVE CARERS REPORT 2022

Throughout the programme, participants have generated some wonderful artistic outputs, such as individual artworks, new musical compositions, and exhibitions of their work, however, the connection, and relational aspect of the art process remains the programme’s main focus.

A full year evaluation took place in 2022, carried out internally by staff at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre. The collection of data and analysis was carried out by Phoebe Cotton and overseen by Justine Foster.

The key outcomes were largely positive:

  • With a total of 76 participants in 2022, the programme made progress in establishing connections with the home carer community in three areas of West Cork. 
  • The structure of the programme – including different settings, activities and group or solo work sought to make participation as accessible as possible to people providing care at home and to cater to their different needs and interests. This was largely successful as evidenced by the positive feedback from participants in the At Home strand and Uillinn workshop series, and expressed interest from participants and artists in continuing both.
  • Artists felt that their work on the Creative Carers programme had contributed positively to their own creative practice. The opportunity to work with carers complimented and provided a new perspective on their existing work with people in a care setting.

In 2024, we are continuing to build a network of community workers in Local Link and family resource centres to extend our geographical reach. 

If you are interested in getting involved or would like to find out more information, please email us at info@westcorkartscentre.com or call 028 22090.