• The Power of Words – Event 30th October

    Christine from Wee Read will lead an event at the Maggie’s Lanarkshire for exploring the words we may use when someone has cancer.

    Hamilton Advertiser on The Power of Words event: Power of Words at Maggie’s in the Hamilton Advertiser

    Power of words press release

    Christine at Maggie's

    The importance of language when talking about cancer

     

    Language, including commonly used words such as brave, battle and victim, is often used in the media and with goodwill from friends and family. However, new research from Maggie’s, the charity which provides free practical and emotional support for people living with cancer, has revealed that these appear in a top 10 list of words and phrases that have negative connotations for people living with cancer.

     

    The research was conducted during a Power of Words workshop held in June 2017 and backed by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. People living with cancer were asked which of the words they hear time and time again carried strong negative associations for them. The following were voted as the most used and most negative:

    • Battle
    • Terminal
    • Heroic
    • Victim
    • Big C
    • My friend had it….
    • Think positive
    • Brave
    • Incurable
    • You’ll be fine

     

    Lorrie Forsyth, Centre Head at Maggie’s Lanarkshire commented: “People with cancer are often encouraged to be heroic, to fight.  When people talk about cancer in this way, they usually mean well but while some people with cancer may feel they gain strength by thinking of it as a fight, for others the opposite is true. Cancer can be a difficult subject for friends and family to broach, so at Maggie’s we listen as well as talk, and our experienced, professional staff are always on hand to have the kind of meaningful conversations that people with cancer really need.”

     

    With this in mind Maggie’s Lanarkshire is holding the first Scottish Power of Words workshop on Monday 30th October, 10.30am – 12.30pm.  Led by Christine Cather, who facilitates our monthly Expressive Writing sessions, we will explore the power words have to affect our mood and give us strength and comfort. There will be the opportunity to share words or phrases that have helped us personally and to hear the importance of words for others affected by cancer. As always, support from Maggie’s Clinical Psychologist and Cancer Support Specialists, will also be available. To book a space, people should contact the Maggie’s Lanarkshire on 01236 771199 or lanarkshire@maggiescentres.org

     

    Maggie’s Lanarkshire relies on voluntary donations to support and grow its network of Centres and to develop its unique, high quality programme of support. The charity’s aim is to make the biggest difference possible to people living with cancer and their family and friends.

     

    To find out more about Maggie’s Lanarkshire and to see how the Centre supports people living with cancer across Lanarkshire please visit the Centre at Monklands Hospital, Airdrie or get in touch on 01236 771199 or lanarkshire@maggiescentres.org

     

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    For more information please contact:

    Lorrie Forsyth, lorrie.forsyth@maggiescentres.org; 0775 234 8273

     

    About Maggie’s

    • Maggie’s offers free practical and emotional support for all people living with cancer, and their family and friends. Built in the grounds of specialist NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places, with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing.
    • Great architecture is vital to the care Maggie’s offers; and to achieve that Maggie’s works with great architects like the late Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, whose expertise and experience deliver the calm, uplifting environments that are so important to the people who visit and work in the Centres.
    • The first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996. There are now 21 Centres across the UK and abroad, with more planned for the future. Maggie’s also has an Online Centre.
    • Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations to support and grow its network of Centres and to develop its unique, high quality programme of support. The charity’s aim is to make the biggest difference possible to people living with cancer and their family and friends.
    • 2017 marks Maggie’s 21st anniversary
    • Maggie’s President is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
    • For further information about Maggie’s please go to maggiescentres.org

     

     

     

    To book, please contact the Maggie’s on 01236 771199 or lanarkshire@maggiescentres.org

    Here is an article by Janet Ellis, who spoke at the same event in London in The Huffington Post

     

  • Writing in Glasgow- new groups at the Kibble Palace!

    Scribble in the Kibble
    Writing for Health & Wellbeing
    in the Kibble Palace – Glasgow Botanic Gardens
    Many people find using journals, poems and words helps them to understand and find new ways of coping with stress and illness. Lapidus Scotland offers writing workshops which are open to all abilities. They are mostly about ‘getting things down on paper’ and not worrying too much about spelling and grammar.A useful way into writing can be through keeping a journal, as it can provide a private place to express thoughts and feelings.
    In Writing for Health and Wellbeing we explore the ways in which words and writing can inspire and help us through difficult times and beyond.

    dates for workshops Autumn 2017
    Monday 9th 16th 30th Oct, 6th 13th 20th Nov
    12:30 to 2:30pm
    Further information and to book a place
    tel. 0141 946 – 8096
    email: lapidus.scotland.1@gmail.com
    (limited to 8 people)NB. There will be more workshops in January

    The Botanics Project is a project about listening to the stories of others. When we choose to listen we keep another company and share a journey for a brief time, walking side by side, seeing the world through their eyes.  Using sound as a medium we can share those stories, walking while listening to a sound-walk we are keeping company with another, hearing their inner world, seeing their interpretation of it as we view their images in film accompanying their words.

    Using the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, the Kelvin walkway and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum as our ‘gallery’ we will create a site-specific sound-walk and videos about living with and supporting those with cancer and the role of the natural world in that context.

    The project came about as a result of my own battle with advanced breast cancer and a major operation a few years later connected with it, which I thankfully recovered from. During this time we each started to create audio diaries and small videos enabling us to listen and understand how the other felt, keeping each other company and supporting each other at a difficult time.

    Angelica Kroeger

  • A weekend event for therapeutic writers

    Facilitating Change - Lapidus Scotland Residential training course
    
    P1030510
    
    
    Change – Loss – Grief — Healing
    
    How to Facilitate groups using Literary Arts
     alongside Visual Art, Music and Movement
    
    A Residential Workshop for Experienced Facilitators AND Potential Trainers
     of Reading, Writing and Storytelling for Wellbeing
    
    2nd to 5th November 2017
     Thursday from 5pm till Sunday 4pm
     at Whatton Lodge, East Lothian
    
    
    Whatton lodge is located on Hill Road, Gullane , overlooks Gullane Bay
     and offers spectacular views over the Firth of Forth.
    
    Course Leaders
    
    Ted Bowman, Valerie Gillies, Larry Butler, plus a guest artist
     Further information and questions: lapidus.scotland.1@gmail.com
    
    
    

     

     

  • How is writing and reading helping?

    Wee Read has been slowly building plans for some community engagement in Glasgow.Christine has a few regular groups, in the Maggie’s Centre, Lanarkshire and Glasgow Buddhist Centre. Adrian continues at Stonehouse Hope Cafe and is doing a 1-1 project.The people who come to our groups find it very helpful, sometimes emotional, very supportive and one cancer patient said:

    “Christine, THIS is my therapy!”

    Some extend their reading at home with a new-found or revived enjoyment of poetry and other creative writing. It is obvious to me how it helps, when there is an improvement in their writing over a period of time, as well as their willingness to share their more personal and profound ideas.

    It’s good to see a continuing interest and valuable research in the healing power of words. Here is a link to a BBC Future article that explores how writing may affect physical healing…

    “… the field psychoneuroimmunology has been exploring the link between what’s now known as expressive writing, and the functioning of the immune system. The studies that followed examined the effect of expressive writing on everything from asthma and arthritis to breast cancer and migraines. In a small study conducted in Kansas, for example, it was found that women with breast cancer experienced fewer troublesome symptoms and went for fewer cancer-related appointments in the months after doing expressive writing.”

    Some of the research shows that wound healing can have a short-term benefit with some people, however there are always limits and people respond differently.

     

     

     

     

  • Let’s get bibliotherapy widespread!

     

     

    Weeread2ndlot (18 of 30) (640x424)Photos by D.M Fox

    If you wish to find out more about what is happening in the work around bibliotherapy, here are some

    News and Events for Scotland

    See what is on at public libraries through CILIPS and the National Library in the next year or so. There is an ‘Open Book‘ project you may wish to contact if you live near Edinburgh.

    Why don’t you come to the

    Words Work Well for All Workshops

    at Glasgow Women’s Library on the 18th of March? Sir Kenneth Calman will give a talk and he is Chair of The National Library. You can also get the chance to network with other people working in this field.Tickets are only £10 here:

     

    The workshops look really interesting :

    PROGRAMME WORKSHOPS

    Out Of The Box: Writing in the Archives with Donna Moore Using the treasures in Glasgow Women’s Library’s museum and archive to inspire creative writing. From Suffragettes to Sewing Patterns, from Radical Posters to Roller Derby, from Bunty to Badges – GWL’s collections are a cornucopia for creativity.

    Donna spends her time surrounded by words and women’s history – whether in her role as Adult Literacy and Numeracy Development Worker at Glasgow Women’s Library, as part of her Creative Writing PhD at the University of Stirling, or as co-host of the annual crime fiction convention CrimeFest.

    Balance for Life: when the wind blows the tree bends – tai-chi, poetry & healing with Larry Butler Each tai-chi move is a metaphor, each move could be the title of a poem and playing tai-chi can boost your immune system.

    Larry writes poetry, teaches tai-chi, editor PlaySpace Publications and convenor for Lapidus Scotland, and facilitates writing groups in health and social care settings.

    The Mother Tongue: how language shapes us – with Helen Lamb Everybody has a private vocabulary, which they may not even be fully aware of. Some expressions are handed down through generations; you might suddenly hear yourself repeating something to your own children that was often said to you as a child. This workshop will explore some of our earliest experiences and memories of language and use them to inspire poems and stories.

    Helen is a poet and fiction writer and has published a short story collection, Superior Bedsits, and a poetry collection, Strange Fish. Helen has facilitated creative writing groups for Forth Valley Health Board, Falkirk & District Association for Mental Health, the Maggie’s centre in Edinburgh, and for Open Secret, a confidential service for adult survivors of childhood abuse.

    Learning through Stories – a 20 minute talk with Sir Kenneth Calman

    Ken is Chairman of the National Library of Scotland; Chancellor of the University of Glasgow. Former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland then England & Wales; He chaired the Commission on Scottish Devolution, and was President of the British Medical Association. He was awarded a KCB in 1996. His most recent publication is: “A Doctor’s Line. Poems and Prescriptions in Health and Healing.”

    Paint & Write – with Janie Walker Together we will create a beautiful pastel painting followed by some “artistic writing”

    Janie teaches ‘non believers’ to create Art, writing and spiritual visualisations to increase self-esteem. Janie’s hobbies are also her work so she believes she is very grateful to have been gifted with her talents.

    Journaling and Yoga with Jayne Wilding Journaling and yoga are ways of connecting with our innermost self. Join Jayne Wilding in a workshop which will combine relaxing yoga (done from our chairs) and journaling exercises to help us on the path to knowing ourselves.

    Jayne is a freelance writer and yoga teacher. sky blue notebook from the Pyrenees draws on the experience of living in the foothills of the French Pyrenees for three years. Jayne runs writing and yoga workshops for health and wellbeing in Fife and Dundee.

    Bedtime Stories for Beginners with Stewart Ennis Working with readers and writers in the context of a maximum security prison – In this workshop I will discuss my own personal experiences of working in prison and explore the creative ways in which I’ve learned to deal with the issues of personal sharing and personal protection. I will also look at the ways in which reading and writing can have a positive impact on prisoner’s relationships with one another and with loved ones on the other side of the wall, and how creative writing can nurture empathy and help to creative positive new identities.

    How do I encourage prisoners to open up while actively discouraging the prisoners from writing about the elephant in the room, their crime?

    Stewart is a writer, performer and teacher. He was a founder member of the theatre ensemble Benchtours and has written and performed for many Scottish theatre companies. For the past five years he has been Creative Writing & Performance tutor at HMP Shotts. His first novel The Saving of Joseph Kirkland will be published at the end of 2017.

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    You can also join Lapidus Uk which focuses on writing for wellbeing. There is a Jiscmail email alert group called BIBLIOTHERAPY you can perhaps join – they advertise jobs, research and events.I can add you to my Wee Read list for occasional events and news as well, if you wish.Contact me here if you would like to write a short piece about the work you have done for this Wee Read website.

    Enjoy all your reading and writing for wellbeing!

    Christine     

  • Happy New Year!

    Welcome to 2017! Wee Read has had a longish holiday and we’ve been busy with a new grandchild for Christine, and adapting to a house move.

    I thought I would keep you up to date with what is happening now.

     

    What we are doing now:

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    Wee Read@Lanark Writing Group, at Esteem Clydesdale 38 Greenside Lane,  Lanark ML11 7PY. We meet on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm-3.30pm. Christine is leading this group but due to the distance of travel to Lanark from Glasgow, is looking at getting support in co-leading it.This is a voluntary position, however it offers a chance for practising with a peer mentor.If you are interested, please contact me at christine@weeread.scot 07952 982868

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    What else?

    WeeRead@Stonehouse Hope Cafe, St. Ninian’s Church, Vicars Road,  Stonehouse ML9 3EB.

    Fortnightly meetings on Thursdays from 11 am-12.30

    (Please note that due to refurbishment there are no meetings in January 2017)

    Adrian leads a reading group with a spiritual context, with discussion on the big issues, of life, death, and living well.

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    Christine also does a monthly expressive writing group at The Maggie’s,  for anyone who has been affected by cancer. It is usually on the first Tuesday of the month, from 1-3 pm.For January and February 2017, it will be on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 10th January and 14th February.

    Contact their staff to join:  01236 771199

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    Comments from our our writing and reading groups’ participants:

    “Christine, THIS is my therapy!”

    “Captain, My Captain!”

    “It’s good to be able to talk without feeling the stigma of having a mental illness”

    “It is confidential so ye feel safe.”

    For more information, please contact us at christine@weeread.scot, 07952 982868

  • Wee Read Moves Town!

    After weeks of packing and moving we are settled back into Glasgow, at Scotstounhill. Our links with Lanarkshire will remain strong, and in fact our See Me Champion, Christine has just given a talk at the Lanarkshire Recovery Network conference on Friday 18th November.We look forward to widening our work towards the West and the rest of Scotland.Goodbye Hamilton, thanks for all the inspiration!

    Working with our Lanark writing group continues, and we had a day outing to the national Museum of Scotland last month. It was so enjoyable, that we want to go again! Another trip to a pantomime has been discussed, as some members have never been to one!We will be reading our poems and talking to folks at the Stonehouse Hope Cafe xmas event.The group there with Adrian is growing from strength to strength.

    This week, our Maggie’s writer will be hosting a stall at the festive fayre selling books and other items to raise funds for a publication of the groups’ poems and writings.

    So, it’s all go!The autumn and now, the start of winter has come upon us and we sit witnessing change every day.

    Change is a big theme in our work.This week, our board will meet to review our last year, and to plan the year ahead. We have 4 new volunteers, which is a fantastic achievement. We look forward to a co-design and co-production approach for leading our services.

    Christine is also working for Lapidus, The Writing for Wellbeing Organization as Digital Editor.This broadens the reach, and creates new connections across our borders.

    I will leave you with one of my own poems, written a few years ago while I was in Hamilton. Dedicated to my brother Ian who helps us on this website, thanks Ian!

    All Was Silent

    All was silent.

    Many lives lost for words,

    til many years after,

    I say

    ma Granda died at 31;

    a miner, a heart attack,

    ma Daddy a week old.

    Seventh son

    no father knew.

    His seventh son

    inherits true.

    All was silent.

    Many years lost for words,

    til many years after,

    I say

    Ma Daddy died at 51;

    a steel worker, a heart attack,

    ma brother 4 years old.

    Til after many years I say,

    I’d cry until ma bones ran dry.

    Unutterable loss of my favourite guy.

    No longer silent,

    words speak at last,

    To Ian I say,

    sometimes love has no words to mark its’ day.

    C. Cather

  • See Me Poems against Stigma!

    Wee Read Lanark Writing group is starting a new project this week – a performance poetry event. We hope to get a date for performing this soon at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

    The theme this year is ‘Time’ and today we’ll be working to talk, write and express ourselves on the times of change.Change from foul to fair, from discrimination to equality.

    HORIZONS RECOVERY CAFE

    Excited about this- the poem we made last year was a cracker, it had contributions from 13 people!

    This week we will start with some poems, stories, and anything from Shakespeare, Margaret Attwood, Masizi Kunene and James Allen.

    Here’s a starter-

    This above all, to refuse to be a victim. Unless I can do that I can do nothing.

    I give up the old belief that I am powerless.

    Margaret Attwood

     

  • Wee Read is spreading itself about!

    Wee Read is offering free taster sessions to the community groups around Glasgow and Lanarkshire!We will bring stories, poems and activities to suit your needs.Sharing a story is easy with Wee Read, it is an informal blether group with a topic to talk about.Contact us at:christine@weeread.scot or on 07952 982868!

    Reading for wellbeing + writing for self-expression= Happy faces !!

     

     

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    You can really surprise yourself when you try a wee bit of writing- a new world opens up!!

     

    Weeread2ndlot (7 of 30) (640x557)Wee Read is good for everyone- little people and the big ones too.

  • The examined life…

    Today Adrian leads a group reading about spirit and literature. That’s at Stonehouse Hope Cafe, St. Ninian’s Church. Living the examined life is a worthwhile life…

    Yesterday I was at our third meeting at Lanark with the newly-named Wee Read Lanark Writing Group, formerly Hope Cafe Lanark’s writing group. We are really settling down in a lovely room. The office is run by Esteem, a peer mental health organization with Theresa Coll Elder. It is  bright, calm and fragrant with the essential oils that Karen and Joanne use for their therapy sessions. We sit around Theresa’s beautiful old family table and share some poems, reading aloud and chatting about what they mean for us.

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    We will be expanding into an evening group in August, so watch this space*😉

    This week was fairly momentous for me, completing the See Me Community Champions Training with a great group of local people who are the salt of the earth. I look forward to working with them towards a Lanarkshire that is less stigmatised about mental illness.

    We’ll be adding local events to a See Me page here soon!

    Today I spotted another great Brain Picking from Maria Popova, about hope.

    Happy reading!

    Rebecca Solnit on Hope in Dark Times, Resisting the Defeatism of Easy Despair, and What Victory Really Means for Movements of Social Change