Health and WellbeingAt Writing on the Wall we believe, and have witnessed through our projects, that creativity, particularly when working as part of a wider group, can transform people’s lives, and be a major boost to their general health and wellbeing. We have partnered with many organisations who old the same ethos and work with specific communities of interest – Liverpool Mental Health Consortium, Liverpool pride, The Stroke Association, Refugee Action, City Hearts, and many more, to deliver high quality exciting, creative and meaningful projects under our What’s Your Story, Write to Work, Creative Heritage and Liverpool young Writers projects. There are many survey and evaluations, including those done by Arts Council England, that testify too the impact of creativity and engagement and participation in arts and culture generally can have upon people’s lives, but how does it actually work? One of the group who took part in a what’s Your Story? Project for people suffering poor mental health was, in her own words, ‘a hermit’, before the course. Soon after it finished she took part with the group in a presentation to mental health professionals at a conference on their experiences.
Our projects are designed to offer professional writing support from novelists, playwrights, scriptwriters, poets, spoken word artists and more. They inspire, direct and support the group’s writing. Our staff and volunteers support the organisation of the group, and work one to one with participants to check on their progress and make sure they have a good time and feel engaged and committed. This process brings its rewards in the quality of the writing we see consistently produced in the projects, and the very high attendance and commitment to writing and sharing their work. The sense of achievement is highlighted by our publishing the work of all of our participants and holding showcases for their books so that their friends and family too can come together to celebrate with them. The books are made available in Liverpool’s Waterstone’s and News From Nowhere book shops, as well as online. So, our participants become published writers, an honour they can cry forward with them. We offer volunteering opportunities, and where possible, further projects and support for them to continue their writing. Many of them go on to enter our competitions.