I’ve been running creative writing and poetry discussion groups for over twenty years. I’ve specialised in working with vulnerable adults and ‘hard to reach’ learners in environments such as prisons, homeless shelters and psychiatric wards.
Most recently I’ve been working with seniors and elders within my community. The Covid-19 outbreak has forced the closure of these classes and many learners now face long periods of isolation.
I am extremely concerned for the well-being and mental health of those who’ve come to rely on these sessions and have decided to offer two free online poetry classes, one for a group of seniors I’ve been mentoring in East London and another for mental health service users in North London.
Since many of us will face long periods of isolation the need to stay connected and engaged is essential. As a result I have decided to run a weekly, online ‘open access’ poetry group as well.
Needless to say the Covid-19 outbreak has meant that I, like many others, have been left without an income. I will be running my sessions independently, without backing or assistance from charitable bodies or educational organisations, using the conferencing application Zoom that can be accessed for free by users on smartphones, tablets or web browsers.
If you’d like to support me with this initiative, enrich your life and the lives of those at risk and most affected by the virus you can do so for as little as £1 ($1) a month on my Patreon page.
Jan has a totally original and fresh approach to making poetry relevant, interesting and accessible.
Martine Osorio, HMP Feltham