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New play highlights life for young carers

Kirsty Jackson stars in Freefall.
Kirsty Jackson stars in Freefall.

Freefall, a play highlighting the issues, trials and difficulties facing young carers on a daily basis, is being staged the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket on February 22.

The play focuses on the story of Jas, as she shares her experience of supporting and caring for her mum and older sister since she was four years old.

Jas’s story has been created by writer Anna Reynolds working with a creative team and young adult carers from Norfolk, Suffolk and Hertfordshire over the past 18 months.

A workshop based on Freefall toured to 13 secondary schools last year across East Anglia reaching over 1,000 young people.

This year the production by Social Enterprise Unit Twenty Three visits arts venues and schools in the East, reaching new audiences and widening awareness.

There are currently 700,000 young carers in the UK, looking after parents and siblings every day.

At the heart of the work are the inspiring stories of the young carers themselves.

Director, Stuart Mullins says: “Young carers have forcefully told us two things: that they don’t want our pity, but they do want nearly one million hidden young carers to be found and supported!”

Feedback from audience members have included:

“This has encouraged our school to think of new ways to support our Young Carers.”

“A thought-provoking well-pitched piece with plenty of time to reflect and share experiences.”

Unit Twenty Three has created new partnerships with Carers in Hertfordshire and Centre 33 based in Cambridgeshire as well as Suffolk Family Carers, who all provide support services to young carers.

The funders of the 2017 touring work, which include, The Big Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Unity Theatre Trust, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, St Albans District Council and Forest Heath District Council. We also thank our venues for their support.

Freefall will be touring to schools in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire in February, March and July 2017.

Venues include The John Peel Centre, Hertford Theatre, Hertford on March 6 and March Town Hall, March on March 17.

Tickets are available and information can be found at freefalltour.uk.

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