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Getting to know the children and young people

In their joint blog, Linda and Katy (Residential Child Care Workers) reflect on the Arts Award Creative Care Home project.

We are Linda and Katy and we are both enthusiastic about our work at a residential setting for children with learning and physical disabilities. Our role is to nurture and care for the young people who use our service so that they are able to reach their full potential. We love to support our young people to be a part of the wider community and experience events and activities across the North East…and stop for the occasional coffee, cake and burger along the way (and don’t forget the ice-cream!) As part of our role we research and plan various arts events for our young people to attend. Whilst undertaking the Arts Award we have been provided the opportunity to see our young people in a new light. Although we know our young person has sensory needs, we discovered his love of music and the vibrations. We’ve had some amazing days out across the North East including a young person licking the dinosaur poo at the Centre for Life – nothing like a sensory experience to make your day!

We’ve been able to witness some of our young people come to life with Pady O’Connor and Theatre Mee Mee. Staff and young people alike thoroughly enjoyed this day. We had laughter and tears of joy; seeing our young people engage with the activities like never before. The masks were such a revelation, we hounded our manager to buy some! And now we have our very own dressing up box.

To be honest, there’s been moments that we have found challenging. It’s not always easy to know how some of our young people are going to respond. It’s a surprise as to whether it will be good or bad. Often the young people we felt it wouldn’t suit, have surprised us with their positive response. And vice versa! We definitely could have had a more structured timetable to help us stay on track and turn the evidence gathering in to the finished booklets. But we are still learning alongside the young people and look forward to the next step.

We feel that our relationships with the young people have developed through this Arts Award experience and we have seen their confidence grow to the point where the communication between us has flourished. Young people that would have previously shied away from such activities actually blossomed on their journey through discovering various art forms. Roll on the Bronze Award!