I am Me Creative Writing & Wellbeing Session

I am Me Creative Writing & Wellbeing Session

A creative writing session for pupils, led by writer and Manchester resident Jade Calder.

Aim

To support Jade in developing a project that supports and guides young people in their conversations around wellbeing and mental health.

The workshop aimed to support the children in exploring their emotions, especially around the pandemic. This project helped young people to realise they are not alone in what they are feeling

Location

Longsight

Benefits of creative writing

Creative writing can benefit numerous aspects of an individual’s life. Creative writing can help improve literacy and communication skills across all ages. Attending writing groups can help reduce loneliness, giving participants a sense of connectedness and belonging within the group and their community. In clinical and non-clinical settings, writing has been shown to improve mental health and wellbeing, enabling individuals to express difficult emotions and experience feelings of empowerment, self-actualisation and achievement. It is often used as a form of self-help, reducing stress and thus stress-related visits to the doctor.

Benefits of promoting equality and diversity

Promoting equality and diversity helps build strong, trusting relationships within communities. People feel safe, less isolated and more able to actively contribute to decisions about the community. It can have positive impacts on employment and the local economy. Valuing diverse experiences can help develop unique and innovative solutions which are specific to the community. Workplaces that promote equality and diversity see increases in productivity, creativity, problem solving and revenue.

Testimonies

I’ve been trying to bring my work to Longsight schools and children for about 2 years now. Through connecting with buzz I have been supported to do this. buzz have inspired me and made me feel like I have a purpose, to share my work. Working with buzz has given me confidence.”

The workshop helps us understand our emotions and know it’s okay to feel a bit nervous.”

“The children enjoyed the workshop, they could relate to the story and how switching off their brain was hard for them too.”

Evaluation

This project was a success and demonstrated the power of partnership working. The timing of this project meant the workshop could happen in person.

The workshop was enjoyed by the year 6 class of Longsight Primary School. The workshop was part of the school’s Wellbeing Week at the start of the new school year.

The reading and creative writing highlighted that many of the children present had experienced similar emotions, anxieties, and uncertainties throughout the pandemic.

The legacy of this session is that Jade now has a tried and tested workshop, with fantastic feedback, to guide her with her next steps and applications for future funding. buzz will continue to support Jade by identifying funding to print resources for future versions of these sessions with young people.

Project Team

Jade Calder

Nico Dhillon & Ben Talbot – buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service

Longsight Primary School

Strategic links to local/national policies (Creative Writing)

Benefit

Policy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Reduce social isolation

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Empowerment

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Prevention

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Research/evidence base

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry Report (2017) - Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

Baikie, K., & Wilhelm, K. (2005) Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11(5).

Gillam, T. (2018) Enhancing public mental health and wellbeing through creative arts participation. (2018) Journal of Public Mental Health. Volume 17 Issue 4.

Lewis, L., Tew, J., Ecclestone, K., and Spandler, H. (2016) - Mutuality, Wellbeing and Mental Health Recovery: Exploring the roles of creative arts adult community learning and participatory arts initiatives.

Malyn, B. O., Thomas, Z., Ramsey‐Wade, C. E. (2020) Reading and writing for well‐being: A qualitative exploration of the therapeutic experience of older adult participants in a bibliotherapy and creative writing group. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. 00: 1– 10.

Strategic links to local/national policies

Benefit

Policy

Increasing community involvement

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Manchester Prevention Programme

Socially connected communities

Manchester Population Health Plan

Empowering residents

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Building on individual and community assets

Our Manchester Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Supporting local economy

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Improving employment prospects

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Legislation

The Equality Act 2010

The Human Rights Act 1998

Research/evidence base

Ambition for Ageing (2020) - A Toolkit for Inclusion in Practice

Community Toolbox - Building Inclusive Communities

Disability Rights UK (2014) - Inclusive communities: A research report

Good Things Foundation (2018) - How we build inclusive communities

Manchester City Council - Equality Objectives 2020 - 24

World Economics Foundation (2019) - The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming

Contact

Nico Dhillon – Neighbourhood Health Worker

Nico.Dhillon@gmmh.nhs.uk

Ben Talbot – Start Well Develop Well Neighbourhood Health Worker

Ben.Talbot@gmmh.nhs.uk


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