Literature for Wellbeing Funding Scheme
Literature Wales announces its investment in 10 new projects which aim to encourage engagement and inclusion in communities across Wales.
The Literature for Wellbeing Funding Scheme offers financial support and training for writers and artists to create and deliver original community-based creative writing projects, devised with a specific group in mind. The aim of the scheme is to inspire and empower some of our most marginalised and vulnerable individuals and communities through participation in targeted literature activities.
Following an open call-out in June 2019, Literature Wales is supporting 10 projects across Wales this winter. These activities are delivered by writers and arts practitioners who have received Safeguarding and Participation training as part of this scheme. As well as being an integral part of Literature Wales’ Participation work, the scheme is an investment in the professional development of writers interested in outreach work.
Workshops take place over 4-6 sessions. They are innovative and inclusive working with a variety of groups including prisoners, refugees, neonatal parents, LGBTQ+, and people accessing mental health support.
Each workshop series has a clearly defined output, from the creation of a poetry pamphlet to an exhibition, radio monologues to an EP of songs.
Following on from the success of Literature Wales’ partnership with HM Prison Parc, Bridgend (topping the Arts, Business and the Community category in the Arts & Business 2017 Award), the Prison Heads project will see Connor Allen work with prisoners at the Young People’s unit. They will write and record monologues based on the question ‘What does it mean to be a young person in 2019?’.
The aim of Me, You and SCBU is to bring parents with experience of a neonatal ward in Wrexham together to explore their experiences through creative writing. Alongside the creative writing sessions, delivered by Natasha Borton, parents will also be able to work with local photographer Kamila Kosior. Both image and writing will be brought together in an anthology published by local, independent publisher Wordwox.
Sgwennu ar y Dibyn (Writing on the Edge), delivered by Iola Ynyr and Mirain Fflur, offers creative writing workshops for adults living with addiction and dependency from the Caernarfon area. This project is in partnership with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and with the support of Galeri, Caernarfon. Workshops will focus on increasing the confidence of the participants and nurturing their creative voices.
Skin Deep, led by writer Hanan Issa, is a series of cross-discipline poetry and visual art workshops with BAME women focusing on body image and beauty, particularly from a BAME woman’s perspective. Held in Cardiff, this will include exploring themes such as colourism, body hair, face structure, body shape as well as unpacking more general constructs of beauty.
Keep Talking Tidy is a series of sessions for young people affected by suicide in Carmarthenshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf. The sessions, led by writers Melanie Perry and Rufus Mufasa will use creative writing and song-making to encourage and support the participants to be open, ask for help, and help to prevent suicide in a way which is culturally and linguistically relevant for them.
Delivered by writers Branwen Haf Williams and Haf Llewelyn and musician Osian Huw Williams, Cerddi’n Clymu is an intergenerational project using poetry and song writing to celebrate the area and community of Bala. Year 8 Pupils at Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn and elderly individuals in the area will share memories – both old and new – of life in this rural
community, and the resulting work will be performed to an audience at Theatr Derek Williams.
Writer Mari Ellis Dunning will deliver creative writing workshops for people with mental health difficulties in the Aberystwyth area. Participants will experiment with poetry, short stories and creative non-fiction in an inclusive environment, with the aim to foster positive mental wellbeing and develop coping strategies through writing.
Writers Beau W. Beakhouse and Sadia Pineda Hameed will explore self-expression with Cardiff-based individuals from a BAME background. Participants will decide on ways of archiving and retelling their present while exploring the intangibilities of memory and the act of recording.
Writer Kerry Steed and artist Di Ford will deliver workshops with LGBTQ+ individuals in Haverfordwest and Cardigan to explore the creative self. They will use reflective and creative writing techniques, voice work and 12” mannequins to illustrate individual creative character.
The writer Barrie Llewelyn will bring together Syrian refugees and local individuals in Pontypridd to participate in creative writing workshops where they will work together to experiment with language and creativity. The project will culminate in visual output which will be exhibited in Oriel y Bont at the University of South Wales, in spring 2020.
Participation in Literature is one of Literature Wales three activity pillars, and health and wellbeing is one of their key priority areas as stated in the organisation’s Strategic Plan for 2019-2022.
Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “we all have stories to tell, but not everyone is offered the same opportunities to do so. This scheme opens the door to literature for some of our most marginalised communities, giving them the opportunity to explore the benefits of this remarkable, democratic art form.”
Detailed information about each project and the writers delivering them is available on the Literature Wales website: https://www.literaturewales.org/our-projects/lit-for-wellbeing-2019/