Pilgrim Hearts obtained a grant from the European Social Fund to help disadvantaged ex-drug addicts through a course in creative writing at Yeldall Manor (a Christian run rehabilitation centre).
The aim was to enhance communication skills in writing and also in spoken communication. Creative writing courses offer many opportunities for self developing including:
improving the use of language to communicate
breaking down barriers to reading & the use of language
providing a first step to improving interview skills
improving relationships with employers
encouraging a wider use of language both verbal & non verbal
helping unlock burdens and hurts from the past to allow healing to take place
Sarah de Nordwall, a Bard (Professional Poet and Story Teller) with experience of delivering creative writing workshops, together with Elaine Chalmers-Brown devised a bespoke course of half day writing workshops over 6 weeks. The participants were inspired by Sarah’s performance and encouraged to write their personal stories and poems in a safe environment. Exercises were used to unlock creative writing and the participants had an opportunity to share their writing, helping them feel valued and listened to. This gave them courage to continue and look at their own lives with hope.
Comments from participants:
“In the creative writing I have found it has given me a better understanding and provided different points to help me with my poetry. It has helped me also to read them in front of the group. It has helped me to provide a wider range of subjects to write about and ways of writing about them. I have learnt a lot.” Paul
“Creative writing made me pick up my pen and write. It’s helped me in writing my autobiography. The work was very interesting and I wrote work that has made me release things that I had stuck inside.
The teaching was great, very interesting things that I’ve never done before in my life. I have really enjoyed myself on every section. It has made me more creative, and will help me get through the [rehabilitation] programme in a better way.” Peter