One Community’s Eastleigh Young Carers project held a Showcase last week, to allow young carers across the Borough to display their talents in singing and poetry. The Mayor of Eastleigh sat on the judging panel, and selected a winner from the 10 entrants.
The event was held at St Francis Hall on Nightingale Avenue, and was organised by the project’s Assistant Manager, Kylie Barton, who also runs the project’s choir that meets weekly. Kylie said:
‘Our choir has been running for almost three years now, and the positive effect it has had on the young people’s self-esteem and confidence has been amazing.
‘We wanted to run the showcase to give all of our young carers the opportunity to share their talents, and it was clear on the day that they all got a lot from it.’
The judging panel consisted of staff member Kay Burton, volunteer Carol Groves, and the new Mayor of Eastleigh Maureen Sollitt. All of the judges commented how tricky the selection process was, and it came down to a vote to select the winner. Charlotte Evans came in first place for her rendition of Ella Henderson’s ‘Yours’, Lily Parkin-Colette came in second with a moving poem she wrote especially for the occasion, and Amber Radford came in third for her moving performance of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Supermarket Flowers’.
Each entrant received a certificate of participation to reward them for their bravery, for many of them it was the first time they had performed on a stage in front of an audience. The winners were awarded gift cards which were kindly donated by Sainsbury’s Eastleigh, who are currently supporting One Community as their charity of the year.
The Young Carers Project are running a fundraising event for the choir to be held at St Francis Hall on August the 11th. The event will include local artist and choir leader Lucy Kitchen, and other local performers. The choir funding runs out at the end of this year.
The choir has proved invaluable to the young carers who access as an outlet and a support group as well as a chance to improve their confidence and voice, and so project staff are working hard to ensure its sustainability, and this community fundraiser forms an important part of that.