Programme Leader for Creative Writing Dr Kim Wiltshire has partnered with Lime, the art department for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, to trial a project running online Creative Writing sessions for NHS staff.
As part of their creative response to Covid, Lime have worked with Dr Wiltshire to create a series of online creative writing workshops for NHS staff, aimed at enhancing mental well-being through creativity. Participants range from A&E doctors to nurses and midwives to pharmacists to therapists to administrators, creating short stories and poems exploring their experiences during the Covid crisis. Through methods such as freewriting around a topic and writing exercises such as guided writing, participants can choose to write about their work experiences during this time or write about something completely different, delving into their imaginations.
Comments from participants have suggested the workshops give them ‘me’ time, that they are accessible and fun as well as inspiring, that there was no judgement, which freed them up creatively and that participants were surprised at the work they had been able to produced. Workshops also allow people who all work for the NHS to connect with others, in different areas and even different hospitals, and share their experiences.
Work created through these workshops is planned to be part of a Lime exhibition at Manchester Royal Infirmary in 2021.