Heartfelt play on the plight of young carers makes debut in Luton

It aims to identify 'hidden' carers

By Lynn Hughes
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:03 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:06 am

A play about young carers in Salford that “knocked MPs sideways” is be performing in Luton next week.

The show, Who Cares, was written by Matt Woodhead and co-produced by The Lowry and LUNG.

It features 200 hours of interviews with four young carers from Salford about their lives – as well as input from their families and schoolteachers.

Who Cares highlights the plight of young carers

The play aims to help identify ‘hidden’ young carers in the UK – those who provide care under the radar of their friends, schoolteachers and local authorities - as well as signpost them to the support available.

The tour will engage with thousands of young people in schools across the UK and it will provide resources for professionals that work with young carers on a daily basis by offering CPD training and workshops.

The tour opens at North Wall in Oxford on September 28 before touring to Hat Factory (Luton) on September 30 and then on to other venues.

In Luton it is working in association with The Hat Factory and the charity CHUMS.

Venues have been chosen with the express purpose of presenting the work in areas of deprivation - where the need for support services is strongest – and where there are low levels of engagement in live theatre. Across the tour, it is hoped the work will be seen by more than 4,000 people.

Matt Woodhead, writer of Who Cares and co-artistic director of LUNG said: “Sharing the inspirational stories of young carers from Salford with audiences across the UK is a real privilege and a vital part of the campaign to raise awareness of this, often hidden, issue.

"With each venue we’re able to perform in we’ll educate more people about the plight of young carers and hopefully recruit them as advocates for better funding and support for these incredible young people.

"We are working with local schools, professionals and other services to advocate and raise awareness for young carers in the area. We also hope to identify more hidden young carers in Bedfordshire so they can get the support they need."

The production was performed at the House of Lords in December 2017 to MPs & policy makers and in February 2021, it was performed on BBC Radio 2.