top of page

Surviving & Recovering: A Post-Script

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

After 22 ninety-minute workshops, the 2018-19 Survive & Recover project came to a close on 12 September in the Erskine Building's new exhibition and performance space.

The previous posts on this blog document some of our activities:

- new writing in response to published poems, pictures and music

- writing following relaxation & Mindfulness exercises

- writing after exploring the building

- word-games, collaborative writing, 'free-writing'

- poems, stories, life-story & memoir

- reading and performance skills

The year long-project followed a pilot that ran from 2015; work from that phase is posted here.

All participants have been affected by trauma - for example from homelessness, addiction, early life experiences and abuse, the criminal justice system.

Some have had previous creative writing experience, some not. Some have started to make recordings of their work , enter competitions and submit to magazines for publication.

As well as the core group of writers who came to Yesuare, I worked with groups from Enable Scotland's employability project, and SAMH and the Dunfermline youth project Heart & Sound.

All year, as the writing groups met, the Erskine Building has itself been surviving and recovering, restored by Yesuare's team of skilled volunteers. The first sessions were around a lovely wooden table in the office, and by the new year the small activity / craft room was ready for our use.

Feedback comments included:

- Made my week!

- I find the soft side of my thoughts, my heart, my soul

- The only place I've been able to write apart from four lines on the edge of napkins

- Became my favourite day of the week

- Lets me share what cannot be said

- It was brilliant!

- The feeling of sharing our ideas and styles of writing and so feeling there are other people with whom we can move forwards, helping each other, creatively

- Helps memory and concentration

-Time for myself

- I start to believe I am not only a passenger, a spectator of the beautiful things in life, but capable of experiencing my feelings in a beautiful way, a creative way, an impacted way . . . I'm taking a way a belief

- Allows me to face fears

- I've always wanted to become a writer


Surviving recovery…

What am I taking away?

I take lots of new ideas…

Connecting with people n…

Churches with steeples

Creating a dream…

Living it as well…

Driving new car…

I drive really quite far…

Can’t say much more…

Chap the door…

Hampden Roar

Cleaning the floor

Open the door.



Old Erskine Church 3.20pm 12/09/19

This blog will remain up to showcase participants' work, and provide writing prompts that anyone can use.

Do have a browse through the posts, use the prompts and leave comments.

We hope to run more creative writing workshops and projects in future - if you have any fundraising suggestions they are most welcome!

So, big thanks to everyone who came, whether once, occasionally or regularly, and contributed to building a compassionate creative community in the Erskine. Especially to Yesuare convenor John McDonald for giving me free rein, for energetic writing (and dancing) and for making really constructive, supportive and insightful responses to others' writing. And to the remarkable project manager Tatiana Serrano for her warmth and inclusiveness and everything she is doing to bring the Erskine back to life - and not least for her own creative writing skills, and the joy her accomplished movement between Spanish and English has brought and will continue to bring.

Thank you to Santander Foundation for funding the project.

I'm off home to the hills over the water but hope to be back again soon!

Helen Boden

Writer in Residence 2018-19

104 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Heart & Sound

As part of Survive & Recover, we delivered three sessions for the wonderful Dunfermline youth organisation Heart & Sound. Sixteen brilliantly creative young people, most of whom had experience of com


bottom of page