News Story

Within West Sussex there are an estimated 6,000 young carers under the age of 18. We have developed a strong and successful partnership with West Sussex Young Carers (WSYC), delivering workshops and arts activities to raise the social confidence and academic attainment levels of young carers locally.

Young carers take on huge responsibilities, looking after loved ones when they themselves are just children and teenagers, some as young as four years old. Our work with young carers exists to give them a well-deserved break and a chance to just be themselves and have fun outside of their caring responsibilities.

When the pandemic hit in 2020 we launched a fundraising appeal Young Carers Connect. In partnership with WSYC service, we were able to raise an incredible £91,000 to provide laptops and internet access for young people across the county as well as the opportunity to take part in an online arts programme.

Each year we run a number of initiatives for young carers, from theatre days for our summer and family shows to lantern-making workshops and bespoke creative wellbeing workshops. This year we’re planning to invite our young carers to attend our summer performance of The Sound of Music and our Christmas production The Jungle Book. Young carers are invited to join Chichester Festival Youth Theatre (CFYT) with a fully funded bursary and have access to targeted days and workshops.

My favourite part of the day was when I made a new friend

Young Carer

It was the best day in the world

Young Carer

Currently we’re working on plans to further develop and expand our work with WSYC, supporting more young carers to benefit from arts activities and live theatre experiences.

If you’d like to help support this and the other work we do to create magical first theatre experiences then head to our Light a Spark page.

If you want to find out more about our work with young carers then please email our Senior Youth & Outreach Manager Hannah at [email protected].

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported our work with young carers to date. Your support makes a world of difference.

The Festival Theatre staff were amazing. They took so much responsibility to engage all young people

Youth Support Worker

See the work some of our young carers created during our Young Carers Film project in partnership with WSYC and Chichester College.