Letter Writing Workshop in Burnley
Dr Alice Malpass and I ran a workshop in Burnley in November 2017 – what a big pleasure! It was for Burnley’s British Lung Foundation Singing For Lung Health group.
I am including a wonderful email I received, after the session – thanks so much Janet.
Hello Elspeth and Alice,
Thank you so much for the photos. They look good and I will show them to the group.
I met the group again yesterday and got some more feedback. I also have had time to reflect on the session so here goes!
Comments from members written into the leader’s comment book:
A different and interesting way of looking at one’s breath.
An enlightening way to understand better how I breathe.
Enjoyed the day – thank you
It was good to hear that other people have the same problems as me. If we did it more often we could share more positive thoughts and plans.
A very interesting experience. Thank you.
Comments from members heard in discussion:
Yes it was good especially hearing each other’s stories.
Why just one day? We need more.
We could have spent a whole afternoon on it.
Comments sent to my by email / text:
There were some very moving comments made at the workshop
I think everyone enjoyed it.
Glad they came.
It was a lovely experience.
G has been too moved to tell me anything about the art set (from M).
My thoughts / reflections:
I will write up about the benefit of doing this sort of activity for the other SfLH group leaders around the country. In particular how much it benefited the group dynamics:
I was impressed at how much gravity everyone gave to it. Not that it wasn’t fun – but just that everyone really got into the flow of the activity and gave it their serious consideration.
Everyone got chance to produce something and got positive feedback including claps from the group. Some people who are very quiet in the group had their chance to shine and share as an individual. This may therefore have a knock on effect for group identity and group management – as people learned things about other members that they didn’t know before. Certainly in the first meeting afterwards there were more members chatting before and after the group with some people helpfully arriving a little earlier instead of at the moment that the group starts.
There was some very honest sharing about people’s illnesses and how they feel about it. This will certainly help people to support each other more – and indeed the conversation yesterday did relate more to people asking each other how they were in a very genuine way.
It was interesting to see people in a different setting. I particularly liked how husband and wife (A and P) interacted: A supported P and gave her lots of positive comments about her letter. I was impressed at how much G shared about his illness – he is usually very jokey and flippant and I realise that this is all a bit of a show when actually it impacts on him much more than he lets on.
It clarified relationships because we all took part. T (volunteer) was able to show that he too has breathing difficulties, M was able to point out that although she comes as G’s carer, she too is gaining so much from the group and it is helping her deal with her cancer, I was able to share about my Mum.
There did feel to me to be a bit of a pressure of time, but I don’t think the group felt under pressure. There were just 2 comments about wanting more time (included above).
We are going to do another half hour or so after next week’s class in order for people to finish off their Christmas tree creations and add them to the tree that will be put in the church for the Christmas tree festival.
I think that is all for now.
All best wishes and thank you again so much. It has added so much to the group.