• Maggie’s Lanarkshire Expressive Writing Group

    Tomorrow, we read and write together at the Maggie’s Lanarkshire. We have the luxury of a beautiful space, where the style is unique and very comfortable. We need a few more people to come and enjoy a shared experience of listening to poems and having a go at writing. No experience is needed, just bring yourself.

    There’s always a cuppa and a welcome face at the kitchen table.

     

     

     

     

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    If you are affected by cancer or have cancer, please contact any of the gorgeous staff on 01236 771199 for details.We meet on the 1st Tuesday of the month between 1pm and 3pm.
    You will be very welcome!

  • 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
    
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    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.

     

     

     

     

  • 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

  • April activities at Wee Read

    Spring begins!

    What a nice start to Spring for us this past week, with  Maggie’s writing group at Monkland’s Hospital, which was beautiful as ever. However, we do need some more people to come along. So, if you or anyone you know has been affected by cancer, you can call the Maggie’s Lanarkshire to talk and register to join the writing group. We meet every 1st Tuesday of every month at 1-3pm.

    Comments are that it is relaxing  and therapeutic, and some people who thought it may not be for them have come and got a lot out of it.

    Then, back to Hope Cafe after a fortnight off.It was so good to meet new faces back in the old space on the ground floor of the Cafe again.It went very well with some deep discussion and writing about Spring poems and recovery stories.

    We go to Horizon’s Recovery Cafe in Dalkeith starting next Friday, 15th so looking forward to that!

    I have been accepted to train as a See Me Local Community Champion, and will be starting on Tuesday this week, so it’s new beginnings this month.

    Words and Spirit

    Adrian Bailey, one of the directors of Wee Read, is planning to deliver a new course at Stonehouse Hope Cafe on ‘Literature and Spirit’ and it sounds like that will be a  very thoughtful course. I am also doing a Wee Read at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre in May which I am really enjoying preparing. Picking poems, discussion points and writing prompts to use for reflection on how we can use writing to deepen our knowledge of ourselves and our inner processes.

     

  • Wee Read’s latest words that heal – 13th October 2015

    Maggie's wall  (9)Start of the autumn in Maggie’s expressive writing group at Monklands Hospital campus in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire.All are welcome to come and try!

    Whatever you write is right.The next group meets on Tuesday the 3rd of November.

     

     

    Yesterday and today I have been privileged to work with some young people who are part of the RSNO chorus, for the creative festival ‘To Absent Friends’ at The RSNO Centre, The Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow. We were fortunate to meet Mr Raymond Williams and his stories were inspiring and entertaining.The love of music runs through these sessions and the parallels with poetry are conspicuous.I am looking forward to developing the writing today!Great to see my good friend, Margot Henderson storytelling at the Festival on 1st November.

    Tomorrow is the See Me, Read Me, writing group to stand up to the stigma handed out to people with mental health issues.All welcome, at The  Hope Cafe, Lanark  for 6 Wednesdays from 2-3.30 pm.cannot wait to get stuck in!

  • Wee Read Autumn new beginnings!

    What a week! I made a new start at the Maggie’s Lanarkshire and it is a joy to write and listen to each other in such a lovely environment. Please come along- we will do a group on the first Tuesday every month (except December 8th).Maggie’s is for anyone and everyone affected by cancer.So if you have a desire to explore the changes that living with cancer brings to you please drop in and try.Or, pop in and book with the Maggie’s staff, tel 01236 771199 email  lanarkshire@maggiescentres.org -There’s always a welcome and a cuppa for you – and often cakes!

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    Then, yesterday 8th October was National Poetry Day see here for my poem I added …

    I was lucky to be invited to meet two fellow librarians at Hillhouse Library, to arrange some See Me, Read Me sessions. We will do the first one on remember, remember…the 5th of November see event details here…

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    The second one will be on the 3rd of December, come along to explode the myths about mental health and stigma. Challenge the stereotypes!See Me funds the See Me, Read me project.

    It’s aw’ go! Get involved! Anyone who wishes to send me a poem or a contribution please email me at christine@weeread.scot

    Enjoy Autumn falling all around you.