Wee Read just completed a ten session course of Braw Blether groups on behalf of Midlothian Council Libraries, at Horizons Recovery Cafe in Dalkeith. Here is a summary of the work we did there:
The group was introduced as an informal shared reading aloud group. With Christine’s experience of expressive writing in a social recovery setting, we added this for the participants.
Moving closer to home, Teenage years, Change, Moods, Speaking out, Standing up for yourself, Summer.
Scottish Book Trust publications,” Stories of Home” and “Journeys” were used in several group sessions. For example, The Tardis by John McGlade, was read aloud then discussed. Scottish stories and poems were usually included, as a way of bringing meaning and relevance to participants’ experiences. For example, Andrew Grieg’s poem “The Long Shot”. The discussion was about modern life, people’s own experiences and short writing exercises from prompts, such as: What is his long shot? What is yours?
The Braw Blether groups had 21 attendances over ten sessions. Christine went round the cafe tables and encouraged people to join in with the Braw Blether group.Some said they would join the next week . Our two regulars were really engaged and got a lot out of it.
Comments:Most enjoyable, every week was different. Christine is a lovely lady, will really miss her.Loved these classes, felt I gained insight to be a more positive person in my life and enjoy the here and now. Found it very interesting and loved Christine’s enthusiasm. Thank you.
Anecdotal feedback from the regulars was that they felt very appreciative of the group. It was evident that they enjoyed the group and had started to speak and write more about themselves in ways that could benefit their well-being.they were keen to continue reading a bit more poetry and stories for both enjoyment and mental well-being.
As the facilitator, I thoroughly enjoyed the group, and also, meeting the local staff of the Horizons Recovery Cafe.Thanks for all their support.I hope they will continue with some therapeutic reading and writing in the future.
Wee Read has started a reflective period to evaluate what effects and outcomes the project is having. I have two reports from the projects with the Hope Cafe and with the Health and Wellness Hub. These are based on forms I handed out to participants at the end of a set of 6 or 4 sessions.
Some of the highlights are the comments people made-
Very enjoyable, very therapeutic. Christine is such an inspiration so talented ! And it is also very inspirational listening to others, such a blessing.
I have found this writing course most helpful in expressing my feelings. I have enjoyed hearing other people’s thoughts and feelings.
I found that just the routine of attending and mixing with others helped a lot. The writing side of it being a practical exercise added a lot to it’s benefit.
This was a very productive group different people should be encouraged to this.
It has been very beneficial for my mental physical and spiritual health.
This was thoroughly enjoyable and it got everyone talking and also listening to what others had to say. I learned many interesting things about the people in our group. I think it is brought us all closer together as a group. Thank you very much.
Enjoyed reading group. Brought back lots of wonderful memories. Opened up feelings and thoughts.