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Five Rivers’ Care Day Event #CareDay21

Above: One of three videos created for Care Day 2021. In addition to a spectacular evening of online entertainment on 18 Feb, our children and young people took part in creative workshops in the weeks leading up to the big day. Here are their artworks projected onto the University of Plymouth

Care Day is the world’s biggest celebration of the rights of children and young people with care experience. It is a very special day in the Five Rivers’ calendar and every year we plan something special to raise awareness and celebrate the achievements of children in care. This year, because of Government guidelines, we had to change how we celebrate this much-loved event and took things online. When we started planning this event, we quickly realised this did not hinder our efforts, quite the opposite, instead, it opened up a world of possibilities. Going virtual meant we were able to include more people in the event than we ever have before in Five Rivers’ 30 years of supporting children and young people.

Our virtual celebration took place on Thursday, 18 February from 6.30 pm to 8 pm with 300 children, young people, foster carers and staff, tuning in from all over the UK, making it the biggest Five Rivers’ Care Day event ever.

We hosted a jam-packed event full of entertainment. We were joined by Ric Flo, a care-experienced rapper and artist who performed several of his uplifting songs, and poet and mental health activist Clare Shaw who has been working closely with our children to craft their own poems based on the theme ‘love’. The theme ‘love is’, chosen by children and young people, was very impactful. The theme underpinned all the activities we have been working on in the run up to Care Day, that were shared at the event in a very special series of videos. This video compilation included incredible poetry and artwork created by children in care to showcase just some of the activities that the amazing Five Rivers’ Participation team helps to organise throughout the year.

On the night we were also joined by Five Rivers’ CEO & Founder, Pam McConnell, and Deirdre McDonagh, Managing Director at Five Rivers Ireland, as well as Eleanor Seed from Investing in Children.

Here are just some of the activities we organised with our children to celebrate #CareDay21

Art Installation on the University of Plymouth

This year, our Participation group partnered with the University of Plymouth to create some mesmerising artwork that was projected onto the campus at nigh (watch the video at the top of this page). To create these beautiful pieces, two Fine Art students from the University held several workshops with our children, who live all over the country and in the Republic of Ireland.

On Thursday, 11 February, Olivia Doherty, Five Rivers’ National Participation and Engagement Officer, took to the streets of Plymouth to showcase just some of the artwork created for #CareDay21. The pièce de resistance was our ‘Love’ mosaic, made up of 250 self-portraits of our children and staff.  On the night we also took to social media to help spread the word far and wide online, to raise awareness of #CareDay21 as Plymouth was alight with beautiful projections designed to raise awareness of  the incredible achievements of children in care.

Poetry Workshops

Our #CareDay21 event featured a selection of poems written by the children and young people in our care, all called ‘Love is’, a theme chosen by them. To learn about how to craft a poem, we worked with poet and mental health activist, Clare Shaw, who held a number of virtual workshops. A selection of the poems have been included in a video, read by the children. One of Clare Shaw’s poems also features in the video, titled ‘Love is Snow’.


Daisi Workshops

On the week of #CareDay21, Daisi held two workshops to teach children how to express themselves through the medium of art. Daisi is an arts charity in Devon and Torbay that offers a wide range of support and development initiatives for children and young people. The artwork that was created by the children was also unveiled at our #CareDay21 event.

Despite the event being online – it was a hugely powerful and connecting experience. There was so much participation and enthusiasm from the 300+ guests that joined us to celebrate this special day.

Follow @Five_Rivers and #CareDay21 on Twitter for more Care Day 2021 celebrations

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