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Creative writing for the mind

At St Oswald's Hospice we provide much more than end of life care. Amongst many other things, we provide day services for people with life-limiting illnesses, including six-week Focus on Living courses.

Courses, such as relaxation and creative writing classes, aim to enhance people’s sense of wellbeing and enjoyment, and are an opportunity for people to learn new skills.

What might be seen to many as a one hour session a week, means so much more to our patients. For these people its new skills; new friendships; and a way of life for one lady who couldn’t sleep for thinking about the poems she was writing.

Creative writing is a way for these patients to express themselves when it might be quite difficult to say what they’re feeling. Emotions in the group are high – one minute they’re tearful about a beautiful poem written by their new friends, and the next minute they’re laughing about comparing people they know to different types of buttons.

Annie Murphy has attended the course for six weeks and tells us more:

“As a former lecturer, I’m used to factual writing and wasn’t sure that creative writing was for me. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and it’s really changed the way I look at things. I used to have intense views about how I thought my family life should be, and I was disappointed when it didn’t meet expectations. This course has helped me to come to terms with those feelings by expressing the way I feel through writing.

“The Hospice makes me feel as though I have huge angel wings wrapped around me. I feel safe.”

Find out more about our Focus on Living courses.