Cancer charity Maggie's is delighted to announce that a creative writing workshop devised in part by former Blue Peter presenter and author Janet Ellis, is to be rolled out to its centres across the UK thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.
With the theme "The Power of Words", the workshop is for people affected by cancer, as well as their family and friends, who would like to explore ideas around positive and negative words, and the role they play in an experience of cancer. The aim of the workshop is to show how writing can help people come to terms with the emotions involved in a cancer diagnosis.
Since 2007, Maggie's has received more than £9 Million from players, playing a significant role in allowing the charity to provide its free programme of support designed to help people live well with cancer.
As a long term supporter of Maggie's, Janet is perfectly suited to host the class. She said, "As a writer, I believe in the power of words. The process of writing can be both cathartic and revealing. I am delighted to be able to host a workshop, backed by players of People's Postcode Lottery, to explore the use of language, which will hopefully help the participants process their thoughts and emotions around cancer. It feels like a perfect complement to the support Maggie's offers."
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "The work that Maggie's does is vital in our society. With so many people affected by cancer, a place to get free practical advice and social support is so important, and the writing workshop is a fantastic extension of the services offered. I'm delighted that players have so far awarded over £9 Million to Maggie's, helping workshops such as this one take place."
Ann-Louise Ward, Chief Operating Officer at Maggie's, said, "The way we talk about cancer, not only in the media but amongst our friends and family and within the medical profession, can have an impact on people living with cancer.
"Language matters, and words mean something. They affect our subconscious. When it comes to cancer, there seems to be a separate language including words like "fight", "survivor" or "be positive", which are often quoted at people with cancer with detrimental effects. They can also make conversations with their nearest and dearest uncomfortable. Maggie's creative writing sessions, as well as many other aspects of our evidence-based programme of support, can help people to find the words that feel most comfortable for them and which most help them to express their feelings with ease.
"I would like to thank Janet Ellis, and players of People's Postcode Lottery, for helping us create this special workshop and raise awareness of the power that words can have when experiencing cancer."
Many of the 20 Maggie's Centres across the UK and beyond run groups in creative writing. While they may take different approaches and vary in how they are structured, all the groups are aimed at helping people affected by cancer explore, and in some cases come to terms with, what is happening to them.