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‘Do You Care?’: Young Carers Film Premieres at Belfast Children’s Festival

Some 8,352 children in Northern Ireland take on the role of providing significant care for a family member.  Their average age is 12 years old. Many are caring for a family member at home and live in fear and uncertainty about the future; almost all surrender much of their childhood to their responsibilities.

Following the success of ‘Through Our Eyes‘, a series of five short dance films featuring young carers from Northern Ireland, DU Dance (NI) returns with a new film shot between lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 called ‘Do You Care?’. The film recognises and gives voice and emotional expression to young carers, raising awareness of some of the issues they face.

Produced by DU Dance (NI), in partnership with Barnardo’s Northern Ireland, this dance film project is the result of a groundbreaking programme of work, which began in 2018, funded by BBC Children in Need.

Young carers from Fermanagh, Mid Ulster and Antrim form the central focus of this film which will be screened for the first time at Belfast Children’s Festival on Friday 4 March at 6.30pm and will be available until Young Carers Action Day on 16 March.

Do You Care

DU Dance (NI)

The carers, who are aged between 13 and 16 years, embarked upon an intensive series of exploratory workshops, which culminated in filming at locations chosen by the participants. For the majority, this was their first foray into the worlds of dance, film and the performing arts. The project’s aim was to give a physical expression to the personal experiences of the individual group members.  The results offer recognition and affirmation of the challenges faced by young carers, whose voices are rarely heard in the wider world.

Throughout this project it has been inspiring and a privilege to watch these fine young people create and perform.  We hope the film will continue to raise awareness of some of the pressures young carers face every day and acknowledge their amazing strength and resilience.

Mags Byrne, Artistic Director of DU Dance (NI)

During the Belfast Children Festival’s Giant Family Day Out on Saturday 12 March, there will be pop-up performances by rapper Jay Sutton of the original song which features in the film and was devised by the young carers.  He will be supported by dancers from Belfast Boys, a DU Dance (NI) youth engagement programme, in various locations in Cathedral Quarter, Belfast.

To find out more about DU Dance (NI), visit

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