The South Roscommon Family Resource Centre, located at Castle View in Roscommon town, is home to the Roscommon Young Carers Project, led by youth worker Faye Hayden and funded by Tusla and Healthy Ireland.
Using grants from the Irish Youth Foundation, the National Lottery and the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB), the project has been running its ‘Art of Caring’ programme for the past year.
The project supports over 50 young people in the region, ranging in ages from 8 to 18, who fulfil a caring role at home for someone who has an illness, disability, or other health condition including mental health challenges. This is often a parent, grandparent or sibling but can be anyone in the family or extended family.
While many of the project’s activities have taken place via Zoom, the young carers have managed to hold in-person sessions with groups such as Roscommon Music Generation, Skywatcher Technology, and crafting with local business, Hullabaloo.
In the past week, many of the young carers came together to take part in an art camp, which led to the creation of colourful murals on the walls of St. Coman’s Primary School in Roscommon town.
The theme of the murals was the importance of caring for each other and for ourselves and the project was delivered by Fiona Brady and Aisling Corcoran from Bloom Art Project, who have been focusing on art for mental health with the young carers through in-person and online classes.
The young carers have now participated in a number of classes including Creative Writing, Virtual Reality, Music Production, Song Writing, Textiles, Animation, Manga, and Photography. The programme is aimed at giving young carers locally some respite and fun, free from the additional responsibilities at home. It is also aimed at building practical skills in the arts and developing ways to identify self-care tools in order to boost mental health and wellbeing.
To find out more about the Roscommon Young Carers Project, join the project as a young carer, or to volunteer or donate to the group’s activities, you can get in touch through the group’s Facebook page: ‘Roscommon Young Carers Project’, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Faye Hayden on 089-2388297.