Last month, our Suffolk service invited local people of all abilities to ‘Step inside the world of writing’ at a creative writing and poetry afternoon held at Ipswich County Library.

The event was conceived of and organised by two people supported at the service using funds awarded from our community grants programme.

Event organisers invited a local poet named Dean to lead the session, who helped everyone to create two personal pieces, as well as a group poem at the end of the afternoon.

On the day, 25 people took part, including a British Sign Language interpreter, because almost half of the people supported by United Response cannot communicate with words. The afternoon was fully inclusive, allowing everyone to come together and share experiences.

An inclusive, sharing experience

All attendees shared what they had learned and something they had felt or experienced at the event; for instance, one shared: "I felt moved by one girl’s story about her grandmother. She was moved to tears - it was such a great release." 

Another attendee said that the collective learnt "how quickly a group unknown to each other can create something good together". Another was pleased "that people of different abilities can cooperate so well", while all agreed that "more events bringing people together are needed".

Attendees gave incredibly positive feedback about their experience, saying they had "felt included without pressure", "enjoyed shared experiences" and found "a mutual enjoyment of words".

The event was such a success that the service plans to hold more in the future. Without funding from our community grants scheme, this inclusive event would not have been possible. To help us fund more events like this across England and Wales, please donate to our appeal today.

The group's colourful composition

Finally, we’d like to share the poem composed by the Suffolk collective:

Rainbow Lives

Pink like a princess dress, like strawberry yoghurt
Lilac like my toes
Blue like eyes, the sky and my cardigan
Grey like concrete buildings, schools socks
Black as ash, as the devil soul
Yellow third colour in the rainbow and buttercups under your chin
Yellow and Green like my Norwich top
Green like wick, spring and mountain dew
Green like Kermit the frog and robin
Cream like scones and ice cream
White like dentist room
Period the offspring of puke green and pus yellow
Brown like the colour of the sea at Southend
Orange like the flesh of pumpkins
That’s our rainbow lives.

Keep an eye on our Twitter feed and Facebook page for creative, local events like this happening near you!

Sarah Riddlestone, fundraising assistant.