Posted: 29 June 2016

Hidden at Henley Festival - giving young carers a brighter future

Our new partnership with Henley Festival is really exciting for us.

The festival is supporting our work with young carers, which means we’ll be able to help more young people as well as raise awareness about young carers.

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

The latest census (2011) suggests that there are over 166,000 young carers in England, but we know that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that many young carers are ‘hidden’.

Young carers may be hidden because they do not identify themselves as carers or they may not be willing to identify themselves for fear of stigma or bullying.  

Powerful portraits

At Henley Festival this year, our exhibition of photographs of young carers, called Hidden, will be featured in a special outdoor version for people to explore.

Award-winning photographer, and former young carer, Max Alexander captured the resilience, determination and aspiration of 24 children and teens who care for a loved one.

The aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness of the experiences of young carers and show that they are young people with many of the same challenges and dreams as other young people who don’t have a caring role.

Hidden shows that young carers are 'young people first, carers second'.

Hidden launched at the Oxo Gallery in London last year, and has since been touring throughout England at Cathedrals, community centres and public and private events. The reaction to the exhibition has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’ve been inundated with requests to hire the exhibition. 

Putting young carers in the spotlight

Henley Festival featuring Hidden at its prestigious event in such a supportive and involved way means a great deal to the young people in the exhibition.

Some of them are hoping to attend the festival to share their stories with the media. This is a powerful opportunity for us to promote a greater understanding of the reality for young carers, while simultaneously offering the young people some amazing opportunities.

Henley Festival is not only showcasing the Hidden exhibition; they are also offering unique work experience roles that will give the young people real skills and experiences they can use towards their future educational or employment goals. The festival is also generously offering free tickets to young carers and their families in the Henley area to attend on Family Sunday.

I can’t wait to see how Hidden looks at Henley Festival and people’s reactions. It’s another important step towards giving young carers a brighter future.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Include programme website to learn more about young carers or check out the Hidden tour schedule.

Find out more about the partnership and our work with young carers.

See what happened when Melissa, young carer champion, met the CEO of Henley Festival.

You can buy your ticket on the Henley Festival website.

Please donate today so we can help more young carers


By Kate Istead - Programme staff

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My story: Melissa, a young carer

Posted: 28 August 2013


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How Southbank Centre is bringing the hidden lives of young carers into the spotlight

Posted: 20 October 2016