Home and Belonging
Home and Belonging
The project is a 3 year, arts-based exploration of home and belonging founded on mutual creative enquiry by care experienced young people alongside their communities. It began in 2019 with a core group in Shetland and has since connected with young people and partners across Scotland, including the island communities of Orkney and the Western Isles.
The project aims
- provide care experienced young people with an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be ‘at home’ in private, public and community spaces
- enable young people to develop a stronger sense of home and belonging through active participation and leadership in community-building creative exploration
- transform how partner organisations work alongside care experienced young people, enabling young people to have a different experience of the places and communities in which they live.
The Centre for Island Creativity’s main collaborative partner in this project is Who Cares? Scotland. Other partner organisations are:
- Shetland Islands Council
- Orkney Childcare and Young People’s Partnership (OCYPP)
- Shetland Arts Development Agency
- Hjaltland Housing Association (Shetland)
- Our Peer Education Network (OPEN, Shetland)
- Moniack Mhor (Scotland's creative writing centre in the Highlands)
This work is supported by Life Changes Trust. Life Changes Trust is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.
The project has brought young people together with a series of creative practitioners: Rozi Peters (film), Adam Clark (Minecraft), Jen Hadfield (poet) and Tony McBride (verbatim theatre).
With film maker Rozi Peters, the self-named #ShetlandCrew of care experienced young people created a film, The Salt Made Marks, which premiered in Shetland’s arts centre Mareel for an invited audience in 2019. The film includes a young person reading their poem which contains the line ‘my lighthouses look out for me’.
‘My Lighthouses Look Out For Me’ became the title of Who Cares? Scotland’s first Festival of Care in 2019, a recurring event which Home and Belonging has helped deliver in partnership. The second Festival of Care in 2021 was called ‘Being the Light’, with young people themselves bringing light to their communities. The 2021 festival was delivered from Shetland but used online activity to extend across the whole of Scotland. (Link to Who Cares? Scotland press release: 'Being the Light' Festival of Care 2021 - whocaresscotland.org). The launch film for the 2021 Festival shows the reach and power of the young people’s work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgTyWnqzfx4
Through working with poet Jen Hadfield, the #ShetlandCrew have developed a collective body of creative writing. As part of this strand of work, a curated selection of young people’s words, called ‘Projectiles’, were projected onto Lerwick buildings during the 2021 Festival of Care. A short video can be seen here: https://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FoC-edit2.mp4?_=1.
With Minecraft artist Adam Clark, the young people have made a Minecraft version of Lerwick and explored what its places and spaces mean to them. This online town has since been used as a space for youth workers to engage with young people.
With theatre practitioner Tony McBride, young people have paired up with people who are in important corporate parenting roles to listen to each other, perform each other’s stories and share ideas about home and belonging. Performances so far have included the 2021 Festival of Care and a special session with Shetland’s Corporate Parenting Board.