Volunteers in Armagh needed to help children and young people find creative spark

Volunteers in Armagh needed to help children and young people find creative spark

Programme Coordinator at Fighting Words, Marnie Kennedy, pictured with volunteers at a recent creative writing workshop for young people.

Staff Reporter

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Creative Writing charity, Fighting Words Northern Ireland, is appealing for volunteers in Co Armagh to support a series of creative writing workshops for children and young people in local arts venues over the coming months.  Volunteers need no previous experience and full training, and access checks will be provided.  

Hilary Copeland, Director of Fighting Words NI explains: 

“Every year we provide hundreds of creative writing opportunities for young people aged 6-18 through our schools workshops, write clubs and dedicated programmes like this one in Derry and surrounding area. 

“Having the ability to express themselves through writing empowers young people, builds their confidence and allows them to access opportunities for growth and development, like this one. 

“There are also significant benefits for volunteers who tell us that their overall wellbeing improves because they have such fun working with young people, other volunteers and our team of amazing, dedicated staff. The profile of our volunteers ranges from 18-78, and include students, working people and retired professionals.” 

Máire Callaghan is a frequent volunteer with Fighting Words NI since 2015.  She moved back to NI after 30 years in Dublin and saw it as a chance to reconnect with other people and support something she believed in.   

She explains:  

“Literacy, reading, creativity are such great things for everyone to have access to.  The model that Fighting Words uses, shows children how to access storymaking.  It opens up a bit of a magic window for them when they realise that they’re the ones in charge. If they want the main character of their story to be a cat, that’s perfect, they have creative freedom.  

“You hear that some children find it difficult to participate in school, but there’s such a lovely freedom and relaxed atmosphere in the workshops and you see them start to blossom.  It’s so rewarding being able to motivate and encourage them.” 

For further information visit www.fightingwords.co.uk/volunteer or email volunteer@fightingwords.co.uk  

Funding is provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Tomar Trust.

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