A health boost through words for this year’s Wakefield Lit Fest

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Work produced as part of a project exploring mental health and wellbeing through writing will feature at this year’s Wakefield Lit Fest.

Women across the city have been writing poetry, binding cloths, practicing voice and body performance skills and learning about the power of laughter as part of the Words for Wellbeing programme.

And they will share their work and experiences in a Beautiful Minds day at the city’s literature festival on September 24.

Sarah Leah Cobham, founder of Dream Time Creative and lead writer, said: “It’s been incredibly life affirming for everyone involved.

“There are women who have never had a chance to express themselves so creatively before and whilst it has been challenging and has sometimes come with tears, the healing and positive consequences of that are a joy to be part of.”

Beautiful Minds will include two panel discussions during the daytime on how to build a more mental health-friendly city and how mental health is portrayed in the media.

There will also be a Words for Wellbeing celebration, with poems and stories from the women involved in the project, which was run as a partnership between Beam, the Well Women Centre and Wordlife,

Joe Kriss, from Wordlife, said: “A project like this can have a profound effect on the people who take part and encourage people to look for the help they might need before it reaches crisis point and need to involve other services.”

The day will finish with an evening cabaret at St Austin’s Church.

It will bring together music, comedy and spoken word as well as exploring mental health.

And it will feature music from Bill Ryder Jones, lead guitarist of The Coral until 2008, comedy from Simon Munnery, BBC Radio 4 star Byron Vincent and award-winning poet and campaigner Hannah Chutzpah.

The 6th annual literature festival takes place from Saturday, September 23 until Sunday, October 1.

To see the full programme line up or to book onto events, visit www.wakefeldlitfest.org.uk