Carers and the cared-for invited to tell their pandemic stories through digital exhibition

  • Unpaid carers, care workers and those who need care invited to submit creative works about their Covid-19 experiences for digital exhibition
  • University of Sheffield experts hope initiative will give a voice to people who have faced enormous challenges throughout the pandemic
  • Selected works will be featured as part of online ESRC Festival of Social Science

Man assisting elderly relative

A team of experts at the University of Sheffield has invited unpaid carers, care workers and those they care for to submit creative work for a digital exhibition that aims to “make care visible”.

The academics are looking for everything from photography and poetry, to favourite recipes and pieces of music that tell the stories of carers and those who need care through the Covid-19 pandemic. The chosen pieces will be displayed in an online exhibition as part of this year’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science.

The exhibition will be curated by experts from the University of Sheffield’s Sustainable Care Programme – which brings together an international team of researchers to develop in-depth knowledge of how social care affects us all, and how we might be able to build better systems of care in the future.

“This exhibition is designed to give a voice to the unheard and put faces to the unseen, those people who quietly give so much of their own lives to care for others.”

professor sue yeandle, director of circle

The academics hope the exhibition will give a voice to carers and those who receive and need care, who have faced enormous challenges in staying safe and adapting to different ways of communicating and interacting with their families and communities.

Professor Sue Yeandle, Director of the Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE) at the University of Sheffield, said: “One result of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a focus of attention on the lives of unpaid carers, care workers and those who receive support. We think we have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to keep those people and their experiences at the centre of public consciousness as we begin to rebuild.

“Academic research in this area is crucial to help inform policy makers and social care professionals about the very real challenges the system faces as the world’s population ages. But it is just as important that we all see and hear from carers and the cared-for. Their experiences and voices too often get drowned out as others seek solutions to the challenges of their daily lives.

“This exhibition is designed to give a voice to the unheard and put faces to the unseen, those people who quietly give so much of their own lives to care for others.”

Even if they have never created art before, carers and those who need care are invited to submit all kinds of entries to tell their stories, including but not limited to:

  • Photographs
  • Drawings/paintings/illustrations
  • Poems
  • Short stories
  • Recipes that you cook for a loved one to bring particular comfort
  • Pieces of music or favourite songs, with a note of why they are so important to you

Participants are asked to ensure they have the consent of anyone featured in their submission and keep in mind that the pieces will be on public display. There will be options to anonymise entries. Submissions can be made via before 20 September 2020.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

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For further information please contact:

Sophie Armour
Media and PR Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 3687
07751 400 287