• 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.

     

     

     

     

  • Wee Read Summer Events 2017

    Express Yourself this Summer!

     

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    Wee Read presents 2 afternoon workshops exploring poetry and writing with Christine Cather.

    Venue- Glasgow Buddhist Centre Library, 329 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3HW 

    Saturday 10th of June 1.30 – 4.30pm

    Saturday 24th of June 1.30 – 4.30pm

    Christine reads poems by great published authors. Then uses Natalie Goldberg’s free writing approach, to get you writing whatever you wish!  Please come, to explore and express yourself in a conducive space. The selection of poems and writing are chosen to inspire a heartfelt response.

    There are no rules!

    Whatever you write is right!

    Beginners and experienced writers are welcome! Christine will be reading aloud from poems and books by some of the great writers. We will have a wee chat about what the words mean to us, followed by a little writing to timed exercises. Everyone can join in as much or little as they wish.

    Cost £10/£6 Concession

    Hippeastrum-Picotee

    Christine Cather is a poet and a Buddhist. She leads therapeutic writing groups in Maggie’s Lanarkshire and Clydesdale Esteem mental health support group. She has been writing and working to develop bibliotherapy across Scotland for several years.

    We need 8 names to run the event, please book here:

    Christine Cather at Wee Read contact christine@weeread.scot.uk  or Tel 07952 982868

     

     

  • 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 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

     

  • Wee Read Writing Group at Lanark MOVING TOMORROW

    Weeread2ndlot (26 of 30) (480x640)The Wee Read writing group that used to meet at The Hope Cafe Lanark – will meet tomorrow at 2-3.30pm at the office of Peer Lanarkshire, at 38 Greenside Lane, Lanark, ML11 7PY . This is at the top of Wide Close, diagonally opposite on Greenside Lane, number 38 is near the far end,- so a wee walk.

    It is a really nice space, –  just right to write in! Come and join us for £2 donation to cover costs. We’ll be having a chat, hearing poems and writing away the summertime blues!

    Call Christine if lost 07952 982868.

    Let’s keep connecting with some words for wellbeing and a good blether!

  • Hope Cafe Reading and Writing Lanark and Stonehouse

    Lanark

    Today, we will meet at Greyfriars Church Hall on Bloomgate, Lanark, ML11 9ET. We begin at 2 until 3.30 pm  with a cuppa, for an expressive writing group. So, what do we actually do?-

    Well, first- you need NO experience of reading or writing at all!  We will hear a poem or story, have a chat about it, and then I give a wee exercise or writing ‘prompt’ so we can spend a few minutes writing whatever  we want. There is no need to share if you don’t want to – whatever you write is right.It is informal, friendly and easy-going.Everything is confidential.

    This is about safely expressing how you feel about the poems and stories I bring. One participant has said that the structure of the short writing exercises is very useful- it gives you a chance to think, to stop thinking about other things- and is a good distraction.

    Everyone can write-but if you want to just come and listen, that’s fine too!

    We will share some great poems and stories today, including Chekhov and Denise Levertov, here’s a wee taste:

    “One morning-and so soon-the first flower

    has opened when you wake.Or you catch it poised

    in a single, brief

    moment of hesitation.”…

    Extract from The Metier of Blossoming, Denise Levertov.

    Hippeastrum-Picotee

    Please join us each Wednesday for the next 6 weeks, for a wee read, some company, and a bit of writing. £2 to cover costs.

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    Stonehouse

    Tomorrow, on Thursday 9th of June, Wee Read’s volunteer co-director Adrian will be at the Stonehouse Hope Cafe to explore Literature and Spirit. This is about sharing reading aloud, and chatting about the stories and poems.

    So, please join him in the Cafe at St.Ninian’s Church, at 11-12 – free!Here is a link to his latest blog, about nature and the environment – Mountains of the Mind Enjoy!

    “Some of the best writing on the human spirit is found in nature writing, travel writing, writing that focuses on extreme battles with elements…”

    Summer is full of the joys and it is a chance to get out and feel the world flourishing, with bees buzzing, butterflies roaming and branches forming dens. Go out and get the fresh air if you can, breathe new life into your lungs!