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Bush Theatre Local Partnership Scheme

Bush Theatre Local Partnership Scheme.

Each year, Bush Theatre invites a local adult organisation to form a long-term collaborative and creative relationship with the theatre.

This year, Carers Network was privileged to be chosen by the Bush Theatre to be their partner organisation.

From Oct 2023, a group of 16 local unpaid carers worked with Lead Artist Jordana Golbourn to co-create a project. The carers would meet regularly and had workshops with music, magic and poetry consultants.

Together, along with Bush Theatre’s Community Producer Holly Smith, they developed ‘The Illusion’ -- a moving and powerful piece on their personal reflections on the impact of their caring roles on their own lives. They performed this to a sell-out crowd in The Studio space at the Bush Theatre on Sat 23 March 2024.

The opportunity to be involved in the project and to perform at the theatre was one that carers found to be transformational and inspiring, with feedback including:

Thank you for giving me a new zest for life!  Inspiration to try new things! Making new friends! Renewed vigour for positive adventure outside my comfort zone. Life is truly beautiful if we take a chance on any given opportunity.” Westminster Carer 

I am so grateful for this project . It’s hard to put into words all of it. But the fact the project happened over 6 months meant we all got to know each other and build a creative carers community. I have been so moved watching all of us come out of our zones play connect create share grow express laugh cry. On a personal level I remembered some part of me I had buried.” Westminster Carer

It’s given me my confidence back and a chance to work in a team, with other likeminded people on a project. It was nice to share our experiences together and have a chance to do something fun for ourselves. Thank you so much, the project has meant, so much to me and given me a bit of my old self back.” Westminster Care 

It has meant so much. I wondered at first if it would be too difficult, emotional. And it was hard in the beginning and raw. But as the weeks went on and we got to know each other, shared experiences of caring, in the tea break usually (and talking to others who'd also lost someone), it felt very much like I was in the right place … Jordana and the team were brilliant, always sensitive and generous. It was an absolute pleasure, joy and privilege to work and create with them … Writing the song together and then singing it with the group was so special. All of it will stay with me and give me strength.” Westminster Carer

It was a tremendous opportunity to grow in confidence for many of the carers involved, as well as an enjoyable journey of learning new skills for all of us.” Hammersmith Carer

Photos of final sharing performance by Ylenia Margarecci