WORKSHOP: Let’s Do Words!: Writing for Wellbeing and Resilience

Join Bethan Rees to explore the world of wellbeing-based creative writing, where the goal is: “I have written something down”… That’s it, you win!

Creative writing for wellbeing allows you to explore your feelings, the environment, your imaginative ideas and just about anything, without the pressure of spelling, grammar or inspiration holding you back. The only thing in the way of your creative limits is yourself.

Bethan will set small, attainable and fun writing exercises to encourage you to write about whatever is on your mind in that present moment.

Everything is down to choice: how deep you go, how much you share with others and how you interpret the exercises set. There will also be flexible safety guidelines in place, which will be shared at the beginning of the session.

New data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that depression rates have doubled since the Covid-19 outbreak began. Wellbeing activities, including expressive writing, have been found to boost mood, enhance wellbeing, reduce symptoms of depression, reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma, and even improve your working memory (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005).

Bethan Rees is currently studying for an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She is an experienced creative writing tutor who has led workshops in person and online. As a writer she has been published in a number of online and print poetry magazines and is working on chapbook/poetry pamphlet. Although she is not a counsellor, if anything should cause concern or a need for further exploration during your writing experiences, she will have signposted options available.

Note: this workshop has limited places and advanced booking is recommended.
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Age guidance: 16+

Location: Festival Hub

Please note: this event will take place in our Festival Hub on the Piazza; however, as Bethan has tested positive for covid and is unable to travel, she will appear via Zoom on a large screen at the Hub to teach the workshop.

ONLINE: The Joy of Being Selfish with Michelle Elman

Accredited life coach and creator of the campaign ‘Scarred Not Scared’  gives honest and compassionate advice from her latest book: The Joy of Being Selfish: Why you need boundaries and how to set them.

Is your friendship group constantly filled with drama?
Does your boss make constant unreasonable demands?
Do you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to people and events to keep those around you happy?
Do you often find yourself emotionally exhausted and physically drained?

If so, you need a strong dose of boundaries.

It’s time to discover the joy of being selfish. Putting the needs of everyone around us before our own is ingrained in us from a young age. Often, this leaves us with little time or energy for much-needed self-love and self-care, and to figure out who we truly are and what we really want.

Life coach and influencer @scarrednotscared Michelle Elman is here to teach you about reclaiming your life through the art of boundaries.

The practical side of self-love, creating and upholding strong boundaries will teach others how to treat you, rid your life of drama and toxic relationships and allow you to love yourself and others in the best way possible.

Michelle Elman will be interviewed by Cat Lumb.

Michelle Elman is a five-board accredited Life Coach and is most known for her campaign Scarred Not Scared. She has an active social media presence with over 300k followers across her accounts. She has appeared on Sky News, Loose Women, Channel 5 News, BBC Radio London, BBC Radio 5 Live, LBC sharing her expert opinion, as well as radio worldwide from Hong Kong to Los Angeles to Ireland.

Her TedX talk Have You Hated Your Body Enough Today? has been viewed over 50,000 times and her debut book Am I Ugly? was released in 2018. She has also written for a number of reputable publications including Huffington Post, Grazia, Metro, MTV and Stylist.

In 2020, she was named as one of The Sun’s 50 most inspirational women in the UK. She recently launched her life coaching podcast In All Honesty and her new book The Joy of Being Selfish was published in 2021.

About Cat Lumb: Cat is a writer and writing coach with‌ 10 ‌years‌ ‌of‌ ‌writing‌ ‌under‌ her ‌belt and helps to support other writers in finding ways to live their own writing dreams. Her debut Novel – In Lies We Trust – reached #16 in the Kindle Spy Thriller Bestseller charts in its release week, and she’s been published in Writing Magazine, Women’s Weekly, and by Mslexia and Comma Press.

‌You can find out more about her via her website:

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ONLINE EVENT: A zoom link will be sent to you the day before the event.

Age guidance: 14+ (under 16s should be supervised by an adult)

ONLINE: A Toolkit for Happiness with Dr Emma Hepburn

Dr Emma Hepburn, aka @thepsychologymum, talks about her latest book, A Toolkit for Happiness: 55 Ways to Feel Better – the ultimate guide to long-term and sustainable happiness.

Emma teaches us that happiness is as much about weathering the storms of life as it is about enjoying the sunny weather – and that by implementing small and simple changes we have the power to influence how we feel for the long term.

In this accessible discussion, she will offer easy-to-use tools to cultivate positive habits, better understand your emotions and put you on the path to a healthier and happier you.

 ‘So easy to read yet packed with all the ingredients to create a happy life. Emma manages to cove the science in such a beautiful and simple way, this book is gold!’ Dr Punam Krishnan, resident doctor, BBC One Morning Live

Dr Emma Hepburn is a clinical psychologist who has worked in a range of settings including with adults, clinical health, neuropsychology, child and maternity. She has always drawn as part of her clinical work and starting sharing these drawings on Instagram to provide people with evidence-based psychology and mental health information in an accessible, fun and easy-to-understand way.

Emma is passionate about helping people proactively look after their mental health and taking clinical psychology beyond the clinic room so that more people can benefit from evidence-based advice and information. In 2021, she featured in the Points of Light awards, which recognises outstanding individuals who are making a change in their community.

While this event is FREE booking is recommended so we can send you a Zoom link the day before the event.

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Age guidance: 14+