ENCOMPASSSpread the Word delivered a nine month programme of creative and practical training, mentoring, and hands on experience for 12 emerging writers developing their skills as community workshop leaders and increasing their employability in the field of creative writing. It provided them with the skills and opportunity to develop a programme of participatory workshops to community groups across the five London boroughs of Greenwich, Harrow, Croydon, Hounslow and Waltham Forest.
The project actively encouraged and supported applications from writers from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and from those who are disabled. The Encompass project was an exciting opportunity for emerging writers with strong creative talent. Each participant was mentored and supported by an experienced writer in their field and benefited from a training programme covering all aspects of working as a self-employed community workshop leader. They also gained hands-on experience of setting up and running workshops.
The subsequent programme of participatory workshops encouraged involvement in creative writing for community groups from diverse backgrounds in the five London boroughs. The project ran from October 2009 – March 2010 and aimed to give 120 people the opportunity to benefit from a workshop programme which gave them the chance to express themselves creatively, and share their own stories. Spread the Word is one of twelve cultural and community based organisations awarded a share of £500,000 to develop the creative skills of Londoners and increase their employment opportunities.
The London Development Agency's (LDA) 2012 London Cultural Skills Fund, which is supported by the Mayor of London, enables a diverse range of art and skills organisations in the capital to put on courses in activities including theatre, dance and music production, writing and design.The project was coordinated by Spread the Word’s Emma Pask. Emma has a background in Drama and Creative Writing (Script Writing). She has facilitated, directed and written for a variety of community theatre productions. She has worked as a Project Manager for organisations as diverse as The Roundhouse and The Albany. She has delivered training and mentoring programmes to a diverse range of people including youth workers, corporate executives, youth theatre facilitators, young people and executive board members. Alongside currently working for Spread The Word she is developing her own theatre company Real Arts.