Project name: Storytelling and creative writing project
Participants: Younger adults (aged approximately 25 – 45) living with secondary cancer
Lead artist: Seren Haf Grime
Together we will create the ‘Book of Hope’, sharing our experiences through creative writing to offer strength, wisdom and tenacity. It will be printed and recorded as an audio book.
Younger adults living with cancer are often juggling young families, taking care of their homes and relationships whilst receiving chemotherapy and ongoing maintenance treatments for their long term illness.
Often they have needed to give up their career temporarily or permanently due to the physical or psychological impacts of cancer and, more recently, the requirement to shield as a vulnerable person during the pandemic.
Six monthly workshops will offer an opportunity to explore common themes through words; a story; excerpt from a play, poem or song lyrics which express what it is like facing death, fearing the unknown, noticing the changes in our body, and planning our future.
There will be opportunity to work alone, in pairs, to share our writing, and to collate it into a book. ‘Book of Hope’ will be made available for young adults at point of diagnosis or news of further treatment but also as a lesson for the wider public on how to cope with these themes during the pandemic.
Seren Haf Grime worked as a Dramatherapist in the NHS for ten years, utilizing the power of story to heal and empower diverse clients with a range or presentations. Seren is a co-founder and performer with The Golden Thread playback theatre company. Playback is a form of improvised, devised theatre which utilises metaphor, story, poetry and music to tell the stories of communities without a voice.
Three years ago, Seren was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 36 and has spent the past year shielding with a young child as a single parent.
“I am applying with the support of St. David’s Foundation Hospice Care. St David’s Hospice has been a sanctuary for me. However, a majority of services are offered during day time which is difficult when trying to juggle work, home, being a parent and weekly hospital treatments. Therefore, I have been in ongoing discussions with St David’s thinking about accessible ways to support young adults. My own experience is that provision of accessible, creativity based therapeutic support for people my age is limited. This seems like a perfect opportunity to trial an innovative pilot project and evaluate the response!”