Speak your TRUTH, play with words, tease your IMAGINATION. Say whatever YOU want to SAY good or bad... Fully embrace the WONDERful person YOU ARE and the INCREDIBLE world you live in.
What is Word/Play?
Word/Play is a social prescribing project for people experiencing mental ill health. It uses performance poetry to empower individuals, giving them the freedom and encouragement to tell their stories and be witnessed.
Facilitated by spoken word artist, Liv Torc, project participants have recently enjoyed working with several other professional poets, including Rozi Hilton and Chris White.
Each project course usually consists of ten weekly sessions for a group of up to ten people. Participants are given the chance to build their confidence, develop skills and find new ways to communicate in a safe and fun environment.
No previous writing or spoken word experience is necessary and the sessions are safe and accessible to everyone. The ten-week course ends with an informal performance in front of friends and family.
Word/Play at the Hub
In 2020 we ran a project in partnership with The Hub, Yeovil, for adults with learning disabilities and autism, supported by Awards for All.
Since lockdown we successfully transferred the project online where the participants worked together via Zoom, proving to be a creative highlight of their week!
Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, helped us to provide continuity and online support for the trainees at The Hub by running Zoom workshops and building on the work achieved so far. Thanks to the Government for making this possible.
We’re thrilled to share two tangible outcomes from Word/Play ‘online’: a book and a film.
Screaming at Butterflies
Screaming at Butterflies is a collection of poems written before and during the COVID pandemic by adults experiencing learning difficulties, autism or mental health challenges.
Giving them a chance to be heard, even when shielding in a global pandemic, it is a book of real, raw and awesome words.
Click here if you would like to buy a copy of the book for £7 (plus 75p postage).
Sheefly-Smiggle-Kinderland was created by trainees at The Hub, supported by Liv Torc and Chris White, to communicate their COVID hopes and fears in a fun and safe way.
We are delighted to be partners with Spark Somerset and Somerset Wildlife Trust in Thriving Communities Somerset, a new community-based project that will benefit people’s health and wellbeing in Somerset.
Supported by the Thriving Communities Fund, Somerset County Council and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, the project aims to strengthen and expand the range of social prescribing activities offered in Somerset, including creative and nature-based sessions and groups, by setting up a new partnership of organisations from a wide range of sectors.
These activities will form part of Social Prescribing, a national initiative where people are supported to engage in local community-based activities and services that can improve their health; such as peer support groups, physical activities, social groups, debt advice services & volunteering opportunities.
This new partnership will support the development of these activities by working with existing groups to help them become more sustainable in the long term and better connected into the local health & care system.
Word/Play Plus aims to offer continued support for participants so they don’t end up stepping off a metaphorical cliff after the project ends. From previous incarnations of the project, we’ve learnt that people value writing and performing as an ongoing technique for managing their mental health.
As well as two workshops a month with the lead poet, the group also meet socially, providing peer support for each other. Since starting Word/Play Plus, participants have met and performed regularly, taking part in local poetry events, slams and festivals, including Buddhafield and WOMAD.
Rainbow Fish Speak Easy
The Rainbow Fish Speak Easy, is a spoken word and live poetry platform. Prior to lockdown, the event happened bi-monthly at the Hub in Yeovil. It developed as a way to provide members of the Word/Play Plus group (previous project participants) to regularly meet and perform in a fun and safe environment.
Over time it grew to include and feature other writers and performers in the area. Each event is topped off with a big headline act and has become a hugely popular poetry platform in Somerset. Recent headliners have included Kate Fox, Francesca Beard, Jonny Fluffypunk, Chris Redmond, Elvis McGonagall, Pete the Temp, Birdspeed and Dizraeli.
Since lockdown, we’ve programmed the Rainbow Fish Speakeasy monthly online. After the event on Thursday 17 June, with John Hegley headlining, we will be taking a break over the summer. All being well, we hope to return ‘live’ in the autumn.
Go to What's On to find out about the next Rainbow Fish Speak Easy.