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#WriteThroughThis

CECILIA KNAPP, YOUNG PEOPLE’S LAUREATE FOR LONDON, HAS LAUNCHED #WRITETHROUGHTHIS, A CAMPAIGN TO ENCOURAGE YOUNG PEOPLE TO USE WRITING AND POETRY AS A WAY TO HELP KEEP POSITIVE AND CONNECTED TO OTHERS DURING THE CURRENT NATIONAL LOCKDOWN

A recent survey by mental health charity YoungMinds has shown that 74% of teachers and school staff agreed that schools being closed during national lockdowns has negatively affected young people’s mental health. Meanwhile 80% of young people with a history of mental ill-health have found their conditions have worsened since the coronavirus crisis began in the UK.

The pandemic has brought with it severe disruptions to young people’s routines, a sense of social isolation, and has prevented some young people from accessing their regular mental health support.

To help find ways through these uncertain times, Cecilia is encouraging young people to use poetry and creative writing as creative outlet, and as a way to find a community with other writers.

Cecilia launched her campaign in a short, captioned video:

Project illustrations by Jess Nash.

GET INVOLVED 

To take part in the campaign, share an original poem, quote, or a piece of writing with the hashtag #WriteThroughThis. Check out these top tips below for more information on getting started.

Don’t forget that to make sure we pick it up, tag @stwevents on Twitter, or @spreadthewordwriters on Instagram. Alternatively, please email your poems to hello@spreadtheword.org.uk, and let us know if you’re happy for us to share them.

FREE WORKSHOPS 

For 16 – 25 year olds, Cecilia is running three free online workshops. Cecilia invites you to join her in a low-pressure, safe, creative environment to begin writing. Take some time for yourself to experience the fun, discovery and connection with yourself that a writing workshop can allow. Whether you’re new to writing or more experienced, there’ll be something for you to try to help you out in this strange time. Just bring a something to write with and join in. All sessions have auto-captions and BSL Interpretation. Please get in touch if you need any additional support in order to access the workshops.

  1. #WriteThroughThis Workshop 1 – Getting Into Writing

    Weds 10 Feb, 6.30-7.30pm

    Access provision: BSL Interpreted and auto-captioned

    Sign up here: http://bit.ly/WriteThroughThisWorkshop1 

  2. #WriteThroughThis Workshop 2 – Demystifying Poetry 

    Weds 24 Feb, 6.30-7.30pm

    Access provision: BSL Interpreted and auto-captioned

    Sign up here: http://bit.ly/WriteThroughThisWorkshop2

  3. #WriteThroughThis Workshop 3 – Drawing Inspiration from Great Poems
    Weds 3 March, 6.30-7.30pm

    Access provision: BSL Interpreted and auto-captioned

    Sign up here: http://bit.ly/writethroughthisworkshop3

 

MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE AND RESOURCES

The NHS offers tips for dealing with concerns about the Coronavirus situation on their Every Mind Matters project.

If you are struggling with mental ill-health then there are resources and independent advice available from young people’s mental health charity YoungMinds, including their YoungMinds Crisis Messenger.

If you need to speak to someone urgently, then you can call Childline confidentially and for free on 0800 1111.

For parents looking for advice and support, YoungMinds run a free Parents Helpline, available on 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm).

TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR POEM

  1. To help get you get started in writing your poem, Cecilia suggests beginning with a freewrite:

“Pick your favourite song, or even just the last song that you listened to. Put your headphones in and just write whatever comes into your head for the duration of that song. It doesn’t have to be about that song, it can just be about the images that come to you when you listen to that song. It can be about memories that come to you when you listen to that song. There’s no incorrect answer, it’s just time for you to be creative and express yourself.”

2. Writing prompts 
Cecilia shares some ace ideas to support you to find ideas to write about in this short, captioned video.


Keep your eyes on #WriteThroughThis on social media for more.

#WriteThroughThis Showcase

I know

by Leah Frape


Blue

by Anneliese Amoah


Be A Lioness

by Louise