‘People Like Us’ is the latest production for schools from Knowledge Quarter partner Theatre of Debate. It’s a powerful, fast-moving, humorous and timely contemporary drama, specially commissioned by and developed in collaboration with Action for Carers, Surrey. The play by Judith Johnson previewed at Knowledge Quarter partner Regent High School to coincide with Young Carers Awareness Day 2017. ‘People Like Us’ tells the story of Tyler and Gemma. Both are 16, but apart from detention seem to have little in common. Until Tyler finds out Gemma is a young carer, just like him…
‘People Like Us’ was created to build awareness about young carers. According to a BBC survey around 700,000 young carers in the UK care for family members affected by long term physical and mental health issues, disabilities and addictions. ‘People Like Us’ sheds light on how caregiving impacts on young lives, especially those of current school students.
After the first performance, 17-year-old Sixth Form student Malcolm, from Regents High School, Camden, said: “Seeing a play really does build awareness, it’s a great idea. It’s exciting and it’ll definitely spark something for all the students and teachers who see it.”
The play also supports the aim of Young Carers Day on January 26th 2017 – to highlight how hard it can be for young carers to realise their hopes and aspirations for the future.
Action for Carers Surrey CEO Jamie Gault said: “We hope that the play contributes towards encouraging a cultural shift in schools, where more conversations are had about these issues, which are affecting more and more young people.”
“By raising awareness and understanding with this dynamic play and debate, we want to encourage schools to proactively promote their support and to identify the one in twelve of their students who are young carers. That way, working in partnership with schools, we can support more young carers in their wellbeing, development and aspirations.”
Regent High School Headteacher Gary Moore said: “At Regent High School we have staff who support and mentor students, including those who are young carers, with, among other things, applications for further education and guiding them towards useful services.”