Project name: Writing Tree 
Participants/target group: The project will support the partners of new mothers to improve their own well-being, the support they provide their new family and the new family’s connection to nature. 

Short project description: 

The project takes its name from the beech tree (or writing tree), whose Old English name bōc gave us the word ‘book.’ The project works with the partners of new mothers to improve their well-being and develop a closer connection with nature. Participants will take part in forest bathing sessions (immersive, mindful time in nature) and reflective creative writing workshops. These sessions will be used as a catalyst for creative writing which participants will develop through workshops, reflecting on their time in nature. By improving their own well-being, participants will be able to better support their new families and nurture a connection to nature that can be passed on to the next generation. This project is being developed in partnership with the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s perinatal service and will focus on the partners of mothers receiving support from the service. A collection of participants’ work will be produced as something participants can keep and further reflect on. 

“As a father who struggled with mental health following the birth of my eldest daughter, I know the benefits of mindfulness and engaging in creative writing. Through immersion in nature and reflecting through creative writing, I hope to help new parents who may be similarly struggling. I also hope that participants will develop a closer relationship with nature that they will pass on to their children.” 

Artist biographies: 

Gwyn Lewis is a PhD Creative Writing student at Cardiff University, working on a novel exploring trauma and the body, set in a fictional Eastern European Welsh colony. Before this, Gwyn worked in policy and research roles within Welsh Government, the European Commission and Senedd Cymru. 

Sarah Douglass has been the Principal Clinical Psychologist for the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board since its inception in 2016. Sarah has extensive experience in working therapeutically with adults and their families to improve their mental health. Sarah leads on service development for the service and has considerable experience in training and supervising others.   

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