Sunday, 17 November 2013

Writing and Growing

WordWell's writing and nature workshops are linked to the seasons, the senses and the relationships between growing, nature, gardens and transformation.

Recently we were invited by Eleanor Sier, the Education Officer at Fulham Palace, to work with children from local schools to produce poems for Apple Day, for the fruit trees in the Walled Garden. 

Gardens and Writing have a lot in common - a garden grows naturally and easily given the right conditions and words flow onto the page with space and time.

At the Children’s Book Festival in the Walled Garden at Luton Hoo in 2012,  The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was the inspiration for writing and drawing activities.


These are some of the drawings and writing by the children and families who came along.

hoo 7


once upon a time the key 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

New Lapidus Board

It was good to see so many Lapidus: The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation members from all over the UK in Bristol on the weekend of the 5th and 6th October 2013. The sun shone all the time and Bristol was beautiful.

The weekend was a great opportunity to catch up with others working in the field of writing for wellbeing, and hear guest speakers Ted Bowman on how to Pack Your Bag with Words and poet Matt Harvey on tennis, conkers and many other things.


Kiran Bangerh delivered a workshop on the therapeutic benefits of Hip Hop for young people who are grieving, Manu Rodriguez on writing another perspective on disability/ability, and Victoria Field on training to become a Poetry Therapist. (This is the first time this training has been offered in the UK and is a great opportunity to train with Victoria).

I'm also excited to have been elected to the new Lapidus Board along with Karen Dempsey and Anna Morvern. I'm looking forward to combining our experience and skills, and with previous Board member, Anne Taylor, taking Lapidus forward and building on the work of the outgoing Board. 

I really enjoyed the whole weekend and look forward to planning the next. If you have ideas about the future role of Lapidus please get in contact via the email on the contact page.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Working with Fulham Palace

I'm looking forward to working with Fulham Palace and Eleanor Sier, the Education Officer there, to facilitate some poetry workshops for local schools leading up to Apple Day at Fulham Palace, on 13th October.

One of the aims is to use the trees and natural landscape of the gardens as inspiration for the poems (with links to the National Curriculum in English, Geography, History and addressing PHSE and SCMS requirements).

Another is to encourage more local children, families and schools into the grounds of the Palace to experience nature in action.

Situated in between Fulham Palace Road and the Thames next to Putney Bridge, the Palace provides 13 acres of respite from the busy-ness of urban life. The site dates from the 7th century when it was acquired for a Bishops Residence and remained as that until 1974 when Hammersmith Council opened it to the public.

Now restored after their post war decline, the gardens are tended and grown according to the seasons. They offer a reassuring sense of transformation and renewal each year, plus the opportunity to wander in cultivated and wild areas, which makes a change from concrete pavements on the edge of roads!

Organisations such as Outdoor Nation, the National Trust and Green Lions are concerned about the lack of opportunities for children to play outside and connect with nature. The grounds at Fulham Palace provide a beautiful experience and antidote to this for children who live nearby in the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, and Kensington and Chelsea.


The Walled Garden

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Becoming a Poetry Therapist

Since January I’ve been Regional Co-ordinator for London Lapidus – part of the national Lapidus organisation working to promote words and writing for health and wellbeing.

We meet every two months at the Poetry Cafe in Betterton Street, near Covent Garden. The meetings are an opportunity to form connections and catch up with news and developments in this exciting area of work. Our next meeting is on 28th September when Victoria Field will be leading a workshop on Becoming a Poetry Therapist.

Victoria writes:
When I went to my first ever ‘poetry therapy’ workshop in London in 1999, it was like a light going on – here was the profession I had been looking for all my life without knowing it existed. Technically, in the UK, it doesn’t, so I trained via the US Federation for Poetry-Bibliotherapy.  Over a decade later, I am still fascinated by the idea of the poem and its potential for offering transformation and insight.  I receive a steady stream of enquiries regarding poetry therapy training and have now been approved to take on international trainees for the NFPB.  I’ll talk about poetry therapy, offer an experiential exercise and answer questions about training.

Victoria’s blog is at

If you’re interested in attending the meeting just drop me an email and I’ll send you more details.

Why not check out the Lapidus facebook page

Monday, 12 August 2013

"A Big Improvement" - feedback from Sir John Lillie School

year 2 teacher feedback SJL

This is the Year 2 teacher feedback after the recent Write To Be Me course at Sir John Lillie primary school. Children’s names have been substituted with their initial.

“Y has improved in the quantity of what she writes. She enjoys writing and really enjoyed the sessions. She has begun using a wider range of vocabulary.”

“F is showing a big improvement in confidence and output.”

“A big improvement in E’s punctuation. He has benefitted greatly.”

“B now writes much more.”

“K’s listening is improving and his output when writing. His confidence in writing is increasing with more independent working too.”

“M has more confidence in writing, with an increase in output. Better overall and more interesting.”

“O’s output has increased. Writing is more interesting with complex sentences.”

“L’s confidence has increased also output. Use of puncuation is improving. Her talking contribution is also increasing in groups and whole class.”

Sunday, 4 August 2013

End of Term


Not far from the Thames, the Write To Be Me project has been visiting schools in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Working with small groups of up to 10 children over 12 weeks, the project uses a programme of writing activities, word games and drawing to encourage children to write and share their stories with each other.

Write To Be Me has received postive feedback from the children. The words they use to describe it are “Fun, Good, Brilliant, Thrilling, Helpful, Awesome”!

Teachers say they’ve noticed positive changes in children’s confidence and writing – they are writing more, enjoying it more and using more interesting words. They also reported improvements in the areas of listening, speaking and general happiness.

The Write To Be Me project will be returning to Sir John Lillie and New Kings primary schools in September.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Tortoise Goes To School

Fred the Tortoise was busy last week. He left his quiet home in Sussex and went to four Fulham Schools to inspire children with their writing.

running tort
Fred seemed to enjoy his visit, although he was a little shy at first.

The children described him and then they wrote about what he’d do if he could take off his shell. In this photo he looks as though he’s running but he’s actually moving in very slow motion!

Now Fred is back at home now and has resumed his quiet life.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Miles the Superdog visits Sir John Lillie


Miles in the city

Miles, the friendly lurcher, visited Sir John Lillie primary school, in Fulham last week, to help children in years 2, 4 and 6 with their writing. He was a perfect inspiration  – very placid and sociable, and only when he yawned and the children saw his teeth did they think him a little bit scary. 

One boy said, “Miles is just like me – he likes to sleep and eat and run.” 

Here’s the poem the children in year 2 made:


Has sharp teeth
Skinny legs and sharp claws

Miles’ teeth are strong and sharp
He’s superfast with a long tail
and sharp, sharp teeth

He’s cute and a little bit scary
He’s gentle and super and furry
Miles has big ears, sharp teeth

And fast legs,
He is a very friendly dog.


Miles in the country