A Spell for Understanding by Fenland Young Carers

Conjured up during lockdown, this spell for understanding ‘all that we are, not all that we say’ was created by Young Carers in Fenland.




March 2021

Watch the Spell for Understanding video presented by Centre 33.


Stir with a spoon and drink in the first light of dawn.

Take the sight of an owl on a long-distance flight

The sound of Gorillas, chest-beating at night

The companionship of one hundred dogs

The patience of badgers who cross roads in the fog

Inside this spell is the shape of our days

All that we are, not all that we say,

This spell must include all that is true,

So stir in a unicorn’s miracle horn,

the noble heart of a lion, the smile of a snake

A giraffe’s dream of the stars

And make no mistake,

Most important of all, hidden away,

a spider’s web, broken, and mended again.

Drink our potion, hear our spell, look us in the eye

Put on our shoes and walk by our side.

We commissioned artist Hilary Cox Condron to collaborate with a group of young carers and Centre 33, Cambridgeshire charity supporting young people. Together they did creative activities and tried different artforms with guest artists Bel Greenwood, Dan Donovan and MarketPlace Creative Agent Colin Stevens. Their responses became a poem, expressive paintings and a short film that was shared as part of Young Carers Action Day on 16 March 2021.

Thanks to Emily, Erin, Pheobe, Lennon, Paige, Kezia, Amber and Sophie

Supported by Centre 33 Amanda Cawthorne and Richard Cross

Creative Producer: Hilary Cox Condron

Film maker: Colin Stevens – Theatricx

Guest artists: Dan Donovan and Bel Greenwood