Throughout February and March 2018, Royal Trinity Hospice will host a series of creative writing workshops that look to help patients, families, volunteers and staff explore feelings around life, death and dying.

Trinity has a range of groups and services that are designed to help those with life-limiting illnesses, and their families and friends, feel supported and cared for throughout their time with the hospice. However, this is the first time creative writing is being used help express the emotions that surround life limiting illness.

The workshops encourage writers of all abilities and have been developed by poet, critic and creative writing lecturer Dr. Siobhan Campbell and fellow lecturer at Kinston University Dr. Meg Jensen, alongside Trinity colleagues.

The workshops will run over a series of three sessions and are tailored for three different groups: patients and their family and friends, bereaved people, and Trinity’s own staff and volunteers. Guidance and starter exercises will be provided, but a focus will be given to individual creativity and sharing the joy that comes from expressing thoughts about life, and what it means to be at the end of life.

Workshop leader Dr. Campbell said, “I have seen how writing workshops have given patients, family members and care-givers new ways of meeting the challenge to finding meaning in experiences of loss and death. In poetry, story and memoir we hope for those joining us at Trinity to explore how creative writing can help find a voice and access the unsaid.

“The support felt in workshops can have far reaching effects on well-being and capacity for resilience going forward. Some of the work produced by first-time writers has meant a huge amount when shared with their loved ones and some have gone on to publish in literary magazines as well.”

Following the completion of the workshops, there will be an opportunity for writers to share their work with a small audience on 16 May in Trinity’s Mulberry Room. Participants are also being invited to take part in a research study that looks to explore the place of creative writing in palliative care, and how it can support creativity and agency during this most important period of life.

Spaces for these workshops are limited, so to secure your place please email [email protected] . Visit Trinity’s Creative Writing Workshops page for more information.