The Whitchurch Project

The Whitchurch Project

Photo by John Briggs

Whitchurch Hospital has been an important part of the community in Whitchurch for many years and as a way of celebrating its past, present and future Literature Wales (formally Academi) is working with the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust on The Whitchurch Project. This is a creative writing project to mark the closure of Whitchurch Hospital and rearrangement of its services. It will provide a written and visual record of the long history of the hospital, its current practices and community involvement.

Writers Phil Carradice and Briony Goffin have been appointed to lead the project and to encourage the production of people’s written and oral memories and thoughts on the emerging change within the hospital. Over the course of the hospital’s relocation and modernisation they will be talking to individuals, liaising with Community Groups and running creative writing workshops. 

“The aim is,” said Phil Carradice, “to record people’s memories of the hospital.  How the writing manifests itself doesn’t really matter. People can produce poetry or stories or simple anecdotal memories. We are happy to work with individuals and groups. The important thing is to record people’s work and their impressions of Whitchurch Hospital.”

The two writers will be working with patients and staff at the hospital as well as people from the community of Whitchurch. “We are inviting relatives and carers to take part in the project as well,” said Briony Goffin. “We recognise that they, in their own right, hold a unique and valuable perspective on hospital life, perhaps through visiting patients or through stories shared and passed on down through the family.”

Both Phil and Briony have extensive experience in facilitating workshops for adults and young people and are aware that people’s writing has the ability to amaze and inspire. “I always feel that it’s a great privilege to share in people’s stories and poetry,” said Briony. “I know that I always feel a richer person because of it.”

The management of mental ill health has changed beyond recognition since the hospital was first built outside the boundaries of the then town of Cardiff. Today the hospital is firmly integrated into the modern city of Cardiff and the village of Whitchurch. The Whitchurch Project will help to record the passing and change of this important institution.

If you would like to get involved contact 
Literature Wales on:
029 2047 2266 / post@academi.org
Literature Wales, Chief Executive; Peter Finch,
Mount Stuart House, Mount Stuart Square,
Cardiff, CF10 5FQ