Wednesday 2 May 2018

I Am ... Stories by the Ceartas creative writing group @CeartasAdvocacy #IAm #Ceartas #Advocacy #GiveMeAVoice

Ceartas are delighted to announce the publication of “I Am…” an anthology of the work created by some of the individuals who use our services.
Ceartas provide independent advocacy to people over the age of 16 living in East Dunbartonshire. Thanks to generous funding from Big Lottery Scotland, Investing in Ideas, we were able to employ a Writer in Residence to facilitate an 8 week programme for people who have used the services of Ceartas.
Many individuals who seek advocacy only do so when all other routes have been exhausted. Many feel disempowered, voiceless and personally deconstructed. Using your voice and telling your story is the antithesis to being recognised only by a label.
Independent advocacy is about ensuring individuals have a voice and what better way to assist that process than using creative writing as a means of providing an outlet for that voice. There are so many labels attached and assumptions made about people living with long term conditions;  many face stigma and discrimination as part of their daily lives; they are often denied a voice or lack the confidence to use their voice and speak up for themselves.
Writer in Residence, Donna Moore from Glasgow Women’s Library, worked with the group over a period of eight weeks to create a portfolio of participant’s work to include in the anthology.
The highly anticipated ‘I Am…’ publication featuring stories from those on the course was released over two days this February at; the Glasgow Women’s Library on Thursday 15th February and the William Patrick Library in Kirkintilloch on Wednesday 21st February
Creative Writing fits perfectly into the work that Ceartas does: it’s about assisting individuals to express themselves in a manner that does not focus solely on their literacy skills; it is about demonstrating to others the impact that having advocacy support can have on individual circumstances; it is about coming together to learn new skills, reduce isolation and to evidence their effective skills in communication no matter what level of literacy skills they have.”
             Sharon Bairden, Services Manager

I am honoured and delighted to kick off the Blog Tour today for I Am; Stories by the Ceartas  Creative Writing Group, and my thanks got to Sharon Bairden, and all of the members of the group who sent my copy for review.

Writer in Residence, Donna Moore from Glasgow Women's Library led the course for the members of the creative writing group, and the result is a book that is both enlightening, heartwarming and quite inspirational. The reader is introduced to each member of the group through the first section: I Am ... Inspirational ; Poetry Exercise.

What follows is a collection of imaginative, funny, emotional and honest pieces of writing from a group of people who have been nurtured and inspired to write from the heart. As the book progresses, the reader begins to really get to know the contributors. By the middle of the book, as I came to the section entitled; I Am .... Heard, I could begin to recognise who was the author of each piece, before I'd come to the end and seen the writer's name.

It's clear that Ceartas Advocacy really do care about their clients, this book is testament to that, and it's also clear that the members of the group have gained so much through this exercise. Their ability to write from their hearts, which really will have made them feel so liberated. I can only begin to imagine that benefits that the group members, the staff of Ceartas, and the course leader have gained from this wonderful experience. Not only that, but by publishing this collection, they have shared their stories with those of us who would probably never have heard them before.

A wonderful project created and led by an organisation that clearly does so much good for the people that it works with. I Am ... was a delight to read and discover.

“Ceartas provides an advocacy service for people in East Dunbartonshire irrespective of their cultural background, gender, beliefs or sexuality.
We are committed to providing a service based on the principles of equality, fairness and justice. We strive to ensure that the views and opinions of individuals are heard and respected, affecting in a positive way the lives of people using the service.
We have a responsibility to provide this service, ensuring the rights of individuals are always central, in compliance with national advocacy standards.” 

Find out more at
Facebook: Ceartas Advocacy

1 comment:

  1. I am beyond delighted with this review Anne! Thank you so much! xxxx