Explore your creative side with the Creative Writing Group at the Copleston Centre
Who better to write about activities at Copleston that bring people together and help promote good mental health than the weekly Creative Writing group?
Ekins Perch hadn’t written since his school days, but was eager to join the group of older people at Copleston who had expressed an interest in creative writing. He says, 'Ageing is a gift that we appreciate more and more as we grow older. We look back and see the things that have really mattered but which we had very little time to enjoy as we hurried through our busy lives, and hope that we can find the time in later life to cherish those special moments’. But ageing can also mean that our children grow up and move away, our partners pass on, we retire from the world of work and lose the social aspect of employment. Factor in the two years of Covid lockdowns and for some people life has not all been as rosy as it once was.
Maureen Jedrzejezak, also hadn’t written since she was younger, and hasn't now writes vividly about her childhood in Ireland. ‘During lockdown,’ she says, Copleston kept in touch with me, delivering meals to my home every week”. Church member, Maria Szpytma originally came to the centre for community pastimes like scrabble, 'Copleston became a focal point for me during Covid,’ she stresses, after a knee operation left her without a job and feeling depressed. She now calls the Centre her ‘lifeline’, because even with restricted movement she finds the activities quite doable, and attends various activities, including the writing class, up to three times a week.
Group member, Glenda Hill thought the information on the noticeboards outside the centre looked inviting and between lockdowns benefited from weekly counselling sessions that she says ‘aided my recovery’. Glenda also attended the centre's mindfulness course which she describes as 'the icing on the cake for my recovery, it gave me invaluable tools to use when I feel my vulnerability… I felt that the sharing of life events, and how we coped with them, created a bond amongst the participants…'. Now she enjoys the weekly creative get-togethers, sharing stories and developing her writing in a supportive environment.
Sandra Hesketh, who has continued to write at different stages of her life says, ‘The centre is welcoming and places an emphasis on the wellbeing of those that attend; inclusivity is encouraged, with an ethos of community being more important than individuality.’ Her view is echoed by artist, Stella Cardew ARCA who declares that ‘it is essential to have relationships with other people so that you can develop yourself… I don’t want my life to pass just doing things by myself - it is not much fun.’
‘It is in the context of being older that the Copleston Centre comes into its own,’ adds Ekins, ‘as it provides a range of activities catering for those that might otherwise feel isolated… The friendly people I meet have time for each other and, like me, have the desire to make the most of these, so-called Golden Years’.
The Creative Writing Group meets on Wednesdays in term time at 2pm and you can book at the community cafe for lunch beforehand. For more information about the activities and mental health and well-being programmes contact firstname.lastname@example.org