MEET LIA, FINDING CONFIDENCE THROUGH CREATIVE WRITING
81% of unpaid carers experience loneliness and feel isolated through their caring responsibilities.
In the heart of National Storytelling Week, we delve into Lia’s journey through creative:voices our multi-artform project with adult carers. We designed this to alleviate feelings of isolation and enhance wellbeing, enriching carers’ sense of belonging in their community and increasing their confidence in themselves and their abilities.
Lia has taken part in several of our creative:voices projects. We talked to her about her creative writing experience.
“I found caring rewarding but it’s sometimes very draining. But it’s something I wanted to do to give back to my parents because they sacrificed so much for us. So, I looked after them. And I enjoyed looking after them. I miss looking after them. I’m caring for my brother at the moment because he’s suffering from depression, unfortunately.”
As Lia reflected on her caring journey, it became evident that the selflessness she shows comes with its challenges, loneliness being one of them.
“Being a carer makes you feel isolated. The focus is on your loved ones, so it’s rewarding to do something for yourself. “
THE BENEFITS OF CREATIVE WRITING
“I enjoyed the project and found it therapeutic. It always brightened my day when I came here. You don’t know what creativity you have until you try it.”
creative:voices provided Lia with a platform to express herself and explore her creativity through writing. While it wasn’t easy at first to put her emotions and her mother’s journey into words, Lia’s determination and the support of the project helped her overcome the initial difficulties. Through this creative outlet, she found a way to rebuild her confidence.
“The creative writing was quite difficult. I wanted to talk about my mum and her journey. That’s what I hoped to do. How she came from Italy on a boat, not knowing English. She was quite poor. That’s what I was trying to do in the creative writing. It was quite hard at first to be honest. I thought ‘I can’t do this. I can’t speak in front of everybody! I can’t express myself! How can I write down on paper my feelings?”
Lia’s determination and the support she received on the project played a key role in her personal growth.
“But [the project has] definitely helped me to build my confidence. I’ve changed from when I first come in in March. My confidence had been knocked basically. It helped me build my confidence to be able express myself on paper and hopefully it will continue.”
Creative writing has had benefits beyond boosting Lia’s confidence, helping her to process and express complex emotions, and contribute to improved mental wellbeing.
DOING SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF
“I’ve enjoyed doing things for myself, which I haven’t done for a very long time.”
“Life is short, you’ve got to make the most of it, and I have 20 years left, so I just want to grow and find myself. Find my purpose. Because I’ve lost that. So doing these things has helped me to find my purpose again. It’s helped me grow. I nearly cried there, I’m getting emotional.”
“Hopefully it’s like a stepping stone for my next chapter and my journey will continue into doing volunteering or maybe other things that I’d like to do. “
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS
“I’m a quiet person. I’m shy, but I’m trying to do things that overcome that. I’m helping myself by pushing my boundaries. I’m trying to work on myself.”
“I feel more open [now]. I mean I wouldn’t have been able to talk to you a few months back. I suppose I was very nervous about talking to people. I just felt ‘I can’t approach people, I can’t talk to them. What have I got to say? What of interest have I got to say to people that they would want to talk to me?’ It’s a self-esteem thing. I think [the project has] boosted my self-esteem. My confidence has grown and I’ve enjoyed being creative.”
“It’s a lovely group as well. I’ve really enjoyed working with other people. I’ve enjoyed talking to them. I think I have spoken to everyone. It’s a lovely bunch of people. They’re really friendly and very approachable. I can relate to their situations because I was a carer and I am still a carer.”
“Caring is isolating, because you can’t always go out to do these things. But I’m so glad I did.”
This project is funded by The Smiles Fund, awarding funds from Walkers and Comic Relief.