Can you help?

Dear Reader,

We seek your help to further develop Freefall, a piece of theatre that highlights the challenges facing young carers; the children and young people who care for a sick parent or sibling.

Meet Chloe. For as long as she can remember, Chloe has been caring for her mum, who has Lupus Disease, and her brothers who have ADHD and Autism. She also cares for her three year old sister.

Caring means anything from dealing with personal hygiene and medication to domestic and financial matters. It also means lending a huge amount of emotional support to the ones she loves. Chloe does all this and more.

Chloe is the tip of an iceberg. In 2010 the BBC carried out a survey of 4,029 schoolchildren, in partnership with Professor Saul Becker of Nottingham University. One in 12 said they had caring responsibilities. That suggests there may be about 700,000 young carers in the UK, yet only 175,000 showed up in the 2001 census.

Recently our director developed a show for 9 year olds, Tiny Treasures, which toured to 15 schools. On seeing the show, 18 children told their teachers that they thought they too might be a young carer. It is a hidden problem but the work we are doing now with the Young Carers Forum will help identify more young carers and get them much needed support. Chloe is already one of the lucky ones, thanks to Crossroads, the charity that funds the Forum. She wants to help find others like her.

In the winter of 2015 we are hoping to tour a new show for secondary schools called Freefall, inspired by Chloe’s story and others like her. In the spring of 2016 Tiny Treasures will tour nationally. We need to raise about £70,000 to ensure that both plays reach young audiences around the country.

Here is the good news. Arbuthnot’s, a private bank in London, has made the project their charity of choice. On 16 April they will hold a private fundraising dinner with a silent auction to raise funds. The Bank will do the inviting and provide the dinner, but we need your help to do the following:

  • We need some fantastic things to auction, ideally experiences such as dinner for two at a great restaurant, a weekend away somewhere cool, a day of pampering, a skydive…Could you or someone you know donate something?
  • We need a celebrity to host the dinner, someone who has either been a young carer or would be sympathetic, and who can inspire others. Any ideas?
  • Or quite simply you may want to make a donation yourself. You can do this by clicking on this link https://www.freefalltour.uk/donate/

The money we raise will help finance the tour and support Crossroads in its work with the Forum. Arts Council England has also provided some funding and other trusts and charities are keen to help. Our fundraising dinner, with Arbuthnot’s generous support, will make the difference to securing these.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. We hope you can help.

If you have ideas or anything to donate for the auction please contact stuart@unittwentythree.co.uk