What is the Storytelling, Poetry and Campaigning Project?
In 2020, Well Versed Ink and Macmillan Cancer Support partnered to address health inequalities in London, using poetry and storytelling to provide the tools for seldom heard groups to access decision makers and budget holders for a better cancer service.
Between January and April 2021, we ran workshops aimed to create space for people affected by cancer, especially those under-served because of ethnicity or postcode, to share their stories and affect positive change to cancer care services.
The results of the workshops were an incredible group of people living with cancer and carers putting together a guide for others living with it called 'Raising Your Voice', who are concerned about the care they are receiving or feel they have been treated unfairly. It covers topics like knowing your rights, having challenging conversations, how to contact your local MP and more.
With the success of Phase 1, we have continued our partnership with Macmillan to expand our cohort from London to England-wide and take some of the issues raised further.
What happened in the workshops?
We spent the first session getting to know each other and reviewing the progress made from Phase 1. We talked about stories - the power they hold and their importance - as well as the issues most pressing for us.
Over the sessions, we supported our group members to capture their stories using poetry and other writing techniques. We explored themes around 'personal and community power', institutional racism, sharing of our ‘gifts’, perceptions and unconscious bias. We also created ideas on how we can use our stories to influence change in health care practice.
The 'Raising Your Voice' Guide
We truly believe the guide, created by people living with cancer and those who have cared for them, can help many concerned with the care they are receiving or feel they have been treated unfairly.
To see the fantastic work of our first cohort, click the button below.