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  News - Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro Cornwall UK

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Royal Cornwall Hospital
Young patients at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro are ‘writing themselves well’ by taking part
Date : - 10/07/2009
Over the last three months, travelling poet and former head teacher Moira Andrew has been running creative writing sessions in the school rooms at the hospital.

Moira, who lives in Penryn, is working with children aged between four and 16 in hospital care as part of a project through Lapidus, an organisation made up of members from all walks of life who all believe words used creatively can be a powerful tool for health and personal and community development through writing, reading and performing poetry, prose, fiction, drama or story.

Moira said: “We believe that words and poetry and writing can help people. The Lapidus motto is ‘Words for Well-being’ and the aim of involving children in poetry and artwork is to create a world in their imaginations that takes them away from their hospital surroundings, even if it is only for an hour or so. It’s amazing how quickly children can produce an illustrated poem. They invariably feel good about it and can’t wait to show the finished piece to mums and dads. Success is essential to their feeling of wellbeing.”

The sessions have proved challenging for Moira as well as the youngsters. She said: “The trouble is it is difficult to plan ahead as I don’t know who I’ll be working with – it can be any age group and much depends on scans, injections, their illness and wellness. It keeps the teacher in me on my toes!”

Members of Lapidus include non-professionals, writers and poets, medical and healthcare professionals, therapists, social workers, librarians, academics, teachers, service users, survivors and service providers who may work in a variety of therapeutic environments. As well as being a former teacher, Moira has also worked as a creative writing university lecturer and is a published poet, producing children’s books and writing books for teachers.

Caroline Johnson, CHES co-ordinator, said: “It has been fantastic because Moira is a well known publisher of children’s books and an excellent teacher.”

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