ROZ Coleman is a former young carer, who manages the project.

She said: “You learn yourself through art. Children need to have art – it’s self-expression.

“Being a young carer makes you grow up very quickly, I’ve seen it in others many times and in myself.

“I was a young carer, my mum had agoraphobia. I’ve known the kids in this group of young carers ever since they were tiny, I’ve seen them change.

“I knew a six-year-old whose school kept ringing home and were repeatedly told: “She’s sick, she can’t come to school.” Actually, she was looking after her grandma who was very ill, so that the mum could still work.

“That six-year-old’s education went out the window. The mum and the school mismanaged the situation and it cost that little girl her education.

“These are complex young people. Despite problems, many of them love what they do, because they’re doing it for a mum, dad, brother and sister.

“Childhood is often not there. It’s taken away from young carers and the playing that goes with it.

“That’s where making art comes in. It gives back a little play, a little bit of childhood.

“They’re allowed time for self-expression, to discover themselves. It’s complex.

“Some of these kids have a great life. With some, I see great sadness behind their eyes. They want someone to understand.

“Once you’ve gained their trust and respect they’ll open up to you.

“Art is a great place to be. You can be yourself, it gives you room to reveal and to hide.

“Making art, these kids can tell you themselves without having to tell you.”