People's Postcode Lottery helps launch writing workshop

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Author and Maggie’s supporter Janet Ellis has helped us devise a creative writing workshop looking at language and cancer.

We’ve been busy working with author and Maggie’s supporter Janet Ellis to help us devise a creative writing workshop looking at language and cancer.  

With the theme the ‘Power of Words’, the workshop has been developed for anyone living with cancer to explore ideas around positive and negative words, the role they play in an experience of cancer and how writing can help people come to terms with the emotions involved in a cancer diagnosis. Former Blue Peter presenter Janet hosted the pilot workshop at our West London Centre on National Writing Day on June 21st. The session had such positive feedback from those who took part we have decided that the workshop will be rolled out to all of our Centres across the UK.

Janet said:

As a writer, I believe in the power of words. The process of writing can be both cathartic and revealing. I am delighted to be involved in these workshops, backed by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to explore the use of language, which will hopefully help the participants process their thoughts and emotions around cancer. It feels like a perfect compliment to the support Maggie’s offers.

The workshops are backed by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Since 2007 Maggie’s has received more than £9 million from players, a sum which plays a significant role in allowing us to provide our free programme of support designed to help people live well with cancer.

Our Chief Operating Officer, Ann-Louise Ward said:

The way we talk about cancer, not only in the media but amongst our friends and family and within the medical profession, can have an impact on people living with cancer.

Language matters and words mean something.  They affect our subconscious.  When it comes to cancer there seems to be a separate language including words like “fight”, “survivor” or “be positive” which are often quoted at people with cancer with detrimental effects.  They can also make conversations with their nearest and dearest uncomfortable. 

Maggie’s creative writing sessions, as well as many other aspects of our evidence-based programme of support, can help people to find the words that feel most comfortable for them and which most help them to express their feelings with ease. 

I would like to thank Janet Ellis, and players of People’s Postcode Lottery, for helping us create this special workshop and raise awareness of the power that words can have when experiencing cancer.” 

People’s Postcode Lottery has made a short film of the pilot workshop at our West London Centre; to watch please follow this link.

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