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Unpaid carers try their hand at creative writing 

Thanks to funding from The Melksham Area Board and The Jack Lane Trust, Carer Support Wiltshire recently ran four creative writing workshops for unpaid carers. Each session had a different topic; creating interesting characters, short stories, poetry and life writing.  

51% of survey respondents to a Carers Trust survey said they’d had to give up on hobbies or personal interests because of their caring role. 72% of unpaid carers have not had any breaks from their caring role during the pandemic. If they had a break, research by Carers UK found they would like to use it to focus on their wellbeing (53%). 

The sessions drew a mixture of unpaid carers, from those who have never tried their hand at writing before, and those who already have an established writing practice but would like the time to do more. As creative writing is known to be a way of boosting confidence, creativity and self-expression, the sessions were a great chance to connect with others, relax and learn some new techniques for writing. 

Sessions were facilitated by Georgia-May Stone, Digital and Creative Communications Officer for Carer Support Wiltshire and author. Georgia has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Creative Writing, and has recently finished her debut novel, The Outside, which is in the process of being published. 

Feedback from the group was overwhelmingly positive, a carer said there was an ‘excellent balance between writing and reading and conversation. A wonderful safe place to share.’  

Participants enjoyed talking to others about writing, with one carer saying they enjoyed the chance to, ‘take myself out of my caring role and discuss writing with a nice group of carers and develop my skills.’  

One carer has now gone on to seek publication for some of his stories, saying ‘I don’t think I would have stirred myself to make the submissions without your workshop sessions, so thank you again. In fact I’ve now started looking into finding an agent. Again I wouldn’t have done that without the workshop.’

The participants from the sessions have kindly shared some of their work, which can be read below.

Due to the success of the sessions, Carer Support Wiltshire hope to find funding for more sessions across Wiltshire for more unpaid carers to join.  

Read Ian Bertram’s writing: The Boy, Green Earth

Read AJ’s poem: A poem on trauma

Read Cyrilla’s writing: Villanelle poem, Alas, and the opening of her novel.