We are working with young people (aged 11-19) in Charnwood, who have lead care responsibilities for an adult in their household, to encourage and enable them to get creative and explore their natural environment.
Since October 2021, we have been popping into their weekly Time Out Young Carers sessions to get to know the young people and begin to create work together.
Session 1: Exploring clay and natural forms with Emily Hett
In this session, the group were given porcelain clay and a selection of clay tools to experiment with. Emily led them through the process of making small 'pinch pots' and then encouraged them to explore what else they could do / make with the clay, taking inspiration from leaves, plants, insects and flowers.
Session 2: Exploring the trees of Charnwood Forest with Buzzing Roots
From February 2022, the young people will be working with Charnwood Arts in collaboration with Buzzing Roots on a new project called New Leaves and Ancient Rocks. This session provided a chance for the young people to meet the Buzzing Roots team and get to know more about the project. We explored the different types of trees found in Charnwood Forest and created tote bags with leaf patterns, as well as seed bags full of wildflowers to plant at home...and a few decorated pebble bugs for the young people to hide in their gardens!
Session 3: Exploring Charnwood Geology and creating Mono-prints and Clay Pebbles
This was the first 'official' workshop to form part of the New Leaves and Ancient Rocks project, in partnership with Buzzing Roots. Dr. Jack Matthews, the GeoHeritage Officer for The National Forest Company, presented a short introduction to the unique and important geoheritage of Charnwood, sharing lots of samples of locally found rocks and fossil replicas. Following on from this, artist Emily Hett led the group through two creative activities responding to this learning. The group made their own textured clay pebbles, inspired by the patterns and forms of the rock samples they'd been given and mono-prints using leaves and foliage from the forest.
Session 4: Exploring Charnwood Forest - Beacon Hill workshops and walks
As part of the New Leaves and Ancient Rocks project, two groups of young people supported by Mountfields Lodge Youth Centre (Charnwood Young Carers and a group of young people with SEND) were supported to come along and take part in creative activities at Beacon Hill, inspired by the landscape and its history They also enjoyed a (very muddy!) walk around the woodland and hike up to the top of the hill to explore and climb trees.
Session 5: Den Building and Woodland Survival Skills at Beacon Hill
As the group enjoyed their last experience at Beacon Hill so much, we agreed to arrange another visit and this time worked with one of the Park Rangers. She led the group on an informative nature walk through the woodland before showing them how to build their own dens and make fires (and extinguish them safely). We enjoyed toasted marshmallows and made s'mores too!