A higher proportion of Wales’ young people live in poverty than in any other nation of the UK. 23% of Welsh people – around 700,000 people – lived in poverty from 2012-2015, with increasing numbers of people of working age affected. Social mobility is limited, and high levels of mental illness accompany low literacy rates.
Taking part in creative writing and reading has been clinically proven to be beneficial to our well-being, both physical and mental. It can help improve communication skills encouraging people to engage with society more successfully. Creativity can inspire lasting change by educating, exploring, and challenging issues in our environments.
Llên Pawb | Lit Reach
Lit Reach provided opportunities for literature to benefit the health and wellbeing of the people who need us most. Literature Wales worked closely with Local Authorities in Wales as well as Snowdonia National Park to identify specific groups of people who would benefit from being part of this new project. A programme of workshops and events provided opportunities to work closely with writers, with the aim of having a positive impact on the wellbeing of participating individuals. Workshops and events were tailored to increase literacy levels, employability, social inclusion, lifelong learning, self-confidence and resilience.
— Increased literacy and communication skills
— Improved self-confidence
— Improved mental health and well-being
— Greater social inclusion
— Increased employability
The community groups worked with included sufferers of conditions such as MS and chronic pain, young parents, elderly people at risk of experiencing isolation and loneliness, and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Literature Wales also provided training as part of the project which equipped a new pool of writers with the skills and knowledge needed to lead literary activities in community settings.
Llên Pawb | Lit Reach was funded by Arts Council of Wales, with financial contributions from eight Local Authorities – Conwy, Gwynedd, Denbighshire, Caerphilly, Newport, Vale of Glamorgan, Neath Port Talbot and Torfaen, as well as Snowdonia National Park Authority. Literature Wales worked with the partners to deliver the project.