Care experienced journalist Sophia Hall spoke to Lys, Founder of Care Collective about her care experienced led project and why she created the zine.

Why did you start Care Collective?

I started Care Collective because I wanted to find a way for us as a community to connect in a creative way, exploring our stories in whichever way feels comfortable. I also recognised that there were less opportunities for older care-experienced voices to be seen, and wanted to find a way to celebrate the richness of experience that goes across generations.

Why a zine?

Zines are independently published pieces of work, and the beauty of this is that there are no rules – you can make it look however you want. Zines have a long history of being used by marginalised groups to explore personal narrative, record history and organise movements. I thought zines would be a great way for us to connect creatively as a community, whilst archiving our stories and heritage.

What kind of content do you feature?

We feature a range of mediums such as poetry, prose, short stories, personal essays and various forms of artwork. Basically anything that can be displayed in a booklet! Some people share their experiences of care, others like to use the opportunity to share their creative talents Some even create accessible resources for other care-experienced people, or use the zine to platform their own projects which others can get involved in.

We didn’t have a specific theme for the first issue as we were curious to see what content people wanted to submit, but most of the entries we received were focused on personal narratives. For the second issue we had the theme of ‘new beginnings’ which seemed fitting given the year we have had, and the need to look forward and inspire others with messages of hope. We have also taken the second issue in a slightly different direction – using it as an opportunity for people to find resources and ways to connect with the wider community.

How can people read the zine or get involved?

You can access a digital copy of the zine at our website: www.carecollectivezine.co.uk

Our submissions are currently closed for now as we are working on the second issue, but you can follow us on social media to receive regular updates:

Twitter: @_CareCollective

Insta: @_CareCollective