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In the summer of 2016, Literature Wales in partnership with Newport Mind and Big Issue hosted creative writing workshops for young people who struggle with mental health or have experienced homelessness. Held in Newport’s Grade II listed building, Beechwood House, the workshops were led by poet and playwright Patrick Jones.

According to the Arts & Health Foundation, engaging in creative activities can provide ‘a mental boost’. Writing creatively has the potential to relieve stress, improve concentration, provide an outlet for emotion, and offer opportunities to connect and collaborate with other writers. The group wrote A-Z poems about positive thinking, made cut-up poems from old books and assembled poetry from magnetic words, often over a picnic in Beechwood Park.

The Big Issue ran a Q&A session for the group about writing in journalism and how to get their poetry published.

 

Accept life as it is

Be yourself

Call out negativity

Differences make you unique

Everything will fall into place

Failing doesn’t make you a failure

Give yourself a chance

Have the courage to speak your mind

It’s ok to stand out

Jump for opportunities

Knock out the demons

Live to the fullest

Make it work for you

Never underestimate yourself

Open your eyes

Persevere

Quit quitting

Restarting isn’t an option