ARTWORK created by children in care has been put on display at Reading Museum.
A group of young people who live away from their natural parents have given an insight into their lives through the pieces of art called ‘In our Shoes’ and ‘Helping Hands’.
The children and young people, who are part of the Children in Care Council, meet regularly every month to take part in activities together and the pieces of art were created during these sessions.
Reading Mayor Cllr Deborah Edwards visited the display at Reading Museum on Wednesday 30th May and met some of the children who had created the artwork.
The striking ‘In our Shoes’ display was created by the young people using their old shoes. Their introduction to the display explains:
“These shoes show the journey of our life in care. The words explain how we felt going into care, how we feel now. Our shoes we created show sometimes it was fun and sometimes hard being in care. It was important to us to take time designing and creating our shoes and we wanted people to understand how children in care feel.”
The thoughtful ‘Helping Hands’ pieces have been created by the children to express how they respect and value their foster carers who provide them with a safe and stable home environment. Their introduction to the display says:
“These hands are the hands that have helped us. They are our foster parents who have helped us by looking after us and keep us safe because we can’t live with our families. We would like to thank our foster carers who are amazing.”
One of the young people said after the museum visit:
“I feel thrilled that everybody that visits the Museum gets to see what we have done and understands what it’s like living our life.”
Another said: “It was a good experience to see it myself and made me feel proud that other people would be able to see it.”
Cllr Liz Terry, Lead Councillor for Children’s Services, said:
“Living away from your parents can be a big change and difficult time for children. Things don’t always go smoothly but most children appreciate having someone to care for them.
“Children recognise their foster carer as someone who is there to keep them safe and look after them and they often form great relationships.
“This touching art project has given children in care an opportunity to express their feelings and give a personal view of their journey so far.”
Cllr Sarah Hacker, Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said:
“Art is a great way for individuals to explore their emotions and to give others an insight into how they are feeling.
“I hope this fabulous project is the start of a great creative relationship between the children in care team and Reading Museum.”