A TALENTED Shirley thespian took to the airwaves to help young carers in digital poverty.
Luke Grant stars as Connor, a young carer from Salford, in the radio version of Who Cares on BBC Radio 4 as part of the Who Cares Campaign.
The play tells Ciaron, Page and Connor’s experiences of being a young carer what they have to do and what life is really like for them.
The 27-year-old was inspired to take on the role of Connor because of his experiences growing up with an autistic brother.
Luke said: “When I read the script a lot of the themes resonated with me.
“My brother has autism and is a wheelchair user and my other brother has Attention Deficit Disorder so a lot of the themes in the play really spoke to my experiences.”
Who Cares is a verbatim play, the script was formed from interviews with the three carers, and was made for the stage but has now been adapted for the radio as part of the Who Cares Campaign, which is run by the theatre company LUNG at The Lowry and Gaddum, who support young carers in Salford.
The campaign has a Digi Fund which aims to give the young carers access to the technology they need for school work in the lockdown or the devices they need to help them fulfil their caring role in the future.
The former Light Hall pupil said: “We want the play to put a spotlight on young carers and help more of them be identified.
“Hopefully if a parent or a friend of a hidden young carer hears the play, they might reach out and say ‘I think this might be you’ and help them get the support they need.
“This play is all about banging the drum and getting the message out there.
“In these times we are going through right now, it’s more important now than ever.”
Matt Woodhead, campaign manager for the Who Cares Campaign said they are hoping to raise £5,000 for young people to get the technology they need.
Matt said there are around 700,000 young people across the UK are providing full-time care to their adult relatives – many in complete isolation – as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.
One third young carers come from low income families and many do not have access to vital technology they need, he added.
The play aired on BBC Radio 4 on is available to listen to on BBC Radio catch up or the BBC Sounds App.
For more or to donate visit https://www.whocarescampaign.co.uk/digi-fund